Personal

Little things that remind us of home

cookEarlier today I was reminded of home. There are little things that take me back and today it was the hissing sound of sliced onions sizzling in a pot. You know, the second you throw in whatever you’re frying it starts crackling and sizzling. Crackle and sizzle. I love that.

It reminds of days when I couldn’t cook and still lived under my mom’s roof. I’d always hear that sound whenever my mom was cooking in the kitchen. The sound didn’t mean anything to me then but now it’s reminiscent of home, home being wherever my mom and siblings were. I’ve grown to love that sound whenever I cook.

There are sounds, smells, tastes, sights and even objects that take us back to places far away and long ago. Birds’ chattering in the morning puts a smile on my face. Regardless of whether I wake up on the proverbial right side of the bed, the song and story that some little bird decides to let out in the morning makes me happy. It reminds me of summer mornings when light filters in through the window. It’s one of the best ways to wake up.

That’s another thing I really like; specks of sunshine. I particularly like the sun’s rays in the morning and late afternoon when soft rays sneak in through windows and cracks in the ceiling, flirting with the dust motes in the air. Sometimes I’d pretend it’s a portal to another world, other times I’d pretend the dust motes were fairies only visible in sunlight.

When I was young I liked the idea of fairies, I imagined them with iridescent wings, living in raindrops and on blades of grass. Raindrops pelting against the window remind me of winters during my childhood, it’s comforting. I don’t like the wind drifting through the trees, when I was younger the psithurism of the trees at night scared me. I’d imagine the sound to be ghosts having conversations on how best to scare children. Even to this day, whenever I hear the rustling, whooshing and sighing I feel like a child again. I try to tell myself that the trees and wind are speaking to me, that they aren’t ghosts, but it’s already embedded in my mind as an unpleasant sound on winter nights.

Something I find very pleasant is the smell of butter cookies. It makes me miss my grandmother’s baking and the myriad of cookies, or biscuits as we South Africans say, that she’d put on the table for afternoon tea. Whenever I eat cookies I wish they were my grandmother’s because nothing comes close to her baking.

It’s strange that it’s the little things that bring back many vivid memories. Memories that take me back to moments. Moments that, at the time, weren’t considered special.  There are many little things that make me smile because of the flood of good memories. They don’t ignite nostalgia, just a deep appreciation for what’s passed.

And this is little me. I didn’t like that sweater and I really didn’t like pink. But somehow I wore it often. I had a strong aversion to pink for a long time, but now…not so much. I guess it reminds me of when I was very young and lived in my maternal grandparents house. Those were all good memories.

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