Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Nose Knows

Or rather the nose remembers

I have this memory that came flooding back to me as I was drifting off to sleep last night... and I find I have this urge to write about it.. not that I'll forget it, but I just felt a need to share.

There was this crawl space at my grandparents house when I was growing up that I absolutely loved to go into.  For those who know me now will be in wonderment and wonder wonderingly how someone with a phobia of small dark places could find this memory a happy one.  
I know eh?  That and it was probably filled with wolf spiders as well....

It was dark, yet not dark as naked light bulbs lit my way.
The ceiling was so very low and even as a kid I had to keep my head down and my knees slightly bent.

The room felt like it went on forever.. it was very large and full of 'stuff' - boxes upon boxes of treasures.
Stored Christmas decorations and other items that were too priceless to throw away yet not loved enough to have out on display. 

However it is the smell that I remember so vividly.  Clay - potters clay. 
There were bags of it in a box. A craft once learned but now forgotten and packed into a box for future creative endeavors only to be found by a grandchild.
The smell still sits in the back of my nose and if ever I am lucky enough for the opportunity to catch a whiff of that scent I am immediately transported back to the special place in a time so long ago now.

I remember once playing in that space with some Barbie dolls.. I'm not sure if I found them there or if I had brought them in myself... but I could play for hours and not be disturbed by the grown ups.
A place that they called dark and dingy but one I found quite magical with a wonderful smell.

The house was sold years ago, but I can still walk through it in my mind as though I was only there last week.  Much has changed about it.... the trees have matured, the swimming pool out back is gone and even the colour is different. No matter, the memories that I take with me will never change.
I bet that crawl space is still there and hasn't changed though.. I wonder if it still smells of clay?

I think I need to find myself a quiet special space once again....  in fact all 'grown ups' should have a magical place they can escape to from time to time.


This pic was taken many, many years ago.. that is me as a baby being held by my grandmother.. Nana Betty.

and this is the house now... years later.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh! I remember that smell as well. And those Barbie dolls were mine. There was a Barbie village down there when I was young. It was also the best clubhouse ever, where the 'secret seven' met on a regular basis. I measured my growing in that crawlspace. Now I can touch the roof with my hands, now my head touches the roof, now I need to bend a little - and now I need to stoop. (posted by your auntie Nicki