I took the kids to the park, beach and duckpond yesterday. It was the park I played on almost every day as a child, the beach I woke up to every morning and yet it was the pond that brought back the biggest memories.
Why? The scent of a shrub. I don't know what it is, but there was a big bungalow near my house which had it all round the garden and you couldn't walk past without smelling it. There is one shrub in the garden around the pond and the scent was heavy yesterday.
It brought back memories of persuading my mum to walk the long way home from the shops which took us past the pond so I could see the ducks and maybe scrounge a piece of the fresh bread she'd just bought so I could feed them. And walking through the shady lane behind it with Pop, my grandad, holding tight to his hand. So began a cascade of memories which ended up with the milk on the doorstep freezing in the winter and the cream poking out of the tops of the bottles with the little lid perched on top.
So how did I get from a scented shrub to frozen milk bottles? I have no idea, but when I went to bed my mind was whirling with memories.
I've heard it said that the sense of smell is the most powerful. Perhaps it is.