Nostalgia

Although the weather hasn’t quite begun to turn yet, this late summer air has put me in a nostalgic mood. Days like these seem somehow both limitless and fleeting, and I find I’m caught between the present and a draw to keep one foot in the past.

As the season gets ready to change I begin to take stock of where I am (September is my January, my new year), and inevitably I fin my mind wanders back to moments that seem inconsequential, but that hold poignancy:

- When I smell cut grass, I’m reminded of my teenage years, lying in the park with boyfriends, eyes closed, the buzz of lawnmowers, the sun warming our bare legs.

- It’s the smell of freshly showered skin - perfectly clean, pure, no cologne. This is forever entwined with a sense of disinhibition, and an absolute closeness to another person. Nothing between us. I replay these scenes over and over, wondering if you remember them too.

- Then, walking through Marylebone, I’ll catch a wave of freshly-brewed coffee or clean laundry and feel a prickle of intense memory: dipping into the Chiltern Firehouse with a favourite girlfriend to escape a sudden downpour, the rich, heady scent that perfumes the corridors there. (*Intrigued, I eventually inquired as I wanted it in my own home - candle lovers should stock up on Fea de Beamont’s candles in ‘Verbana’. Heaven! )

Being caught between the present, that longing to keep one foot in the past can be seductive, but is only ever fleeting wave of nostalgia. I’ve often wondered why certain memories entrap us, catch us in a loop. There is no logic to what our mind alights on time and time again. All I know is, I’m grateful to have them. I may not return to them every day, but I hold these experiences close like treasured snapshots - precious, permanent, there to look in on whenever I want.

AH