Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back to the Future

Last week, my friend Jane cut me a posy from the daphne bush that flowers outside her front door. I put it in a vase as soon as I got home and it has perfumed my livingroom ever since.

When I breathe in its scent I am transported immediately back to the time when we had a house full of children and a daphne bush in our front garden. Winters were scented with its fragrance. I hear the door slam with the comings and goings of a parade of girls, hear their raised voices, feel them whirl about me.

I was at the centre of that small universe and now it's gone, our daughters scattered, another growing family passing the daphne bush on their way in and out of the front door.

So much of my past conjured up by the scent of Jane's posy in my livingroom.

Music has that effect too, of bringing the past forward into the present. Our daughter E gave Farmdoc and me tickets to see Simon and Garfunkel last Friday night. The first time we heard their music, we were just married, barely out of our teens, all four of our parents still alive, all our hopes and dreams still out there, inchoate and sweet. Our lives stretched so far into the future that they really did seem endless. I thought there'd be plenty of time for whatever we wanted to do, that we'd always be young.

Friday night's concert brought all that back with a rush. It isn't that I want to have that time over again or that I have a huge number of regrets; I have fulfilled many of my dreams. It's meeting up again with that girl that I was, hearing the soundtrack to her life and feeling what longings it stirred in her then, and knowing how short life turns out to be.

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