The Sensation of Memory

They say that our sense of smell is key to the evocation of memory.  A whiff of perfume caught from a person passing by the street can whisk you  back to another time and place; the aroma of freshly baked biscuits brings memories of being taught to cook, standing on a stool, sleeves rolled up past your elbows, an apron tied around your waist and flour all over your hands and face.

This morning I stepped outside onto the little deck in front of my accommodation cube for better telephone reception.  I was still a bit blurred by sleep,  in my pyjamas, a jacket over the top, and walking boots, but no socks, kept my feet dry.  I was assailed by memories.

The damp, loamy outdoor smell of the early morning, combined with the nip in the air around my face, wiggling bare toes inside my boots, not feeling cold, but knowing that if I stayed there for too long I soon would be, reminded me so forcefully of early mornings on treks; that reluctance to get out of a toasty sleeping bag to face the day, tempted to poke my head out of the tent by the promise of a cup of tea, and once I’d galvanised myself into activity, the sight of the astonishing landscape around me.

Delightful though those memories are, this week I’m very happy that I have the view and the fresh air, but now with the added comforts of running hot water and a comfortable bed.

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