As she opened another box, she groaned. How was it possible for one person to accumulate so much stuff?
She knew the answer of course; a combination of hoarding and moving house several times. Packing the boxes, moving the boxes, not unpacking the boxes, moving the boxes again. And repeat.
This time though, the packing had to be ruthless. There was no room for sentimentality. There was no room, period.
All these boxes needed to go. There was a part of her rational mind that reasoned she had needed nothing, missed nothing, from these boxes since they were packed three house moves ago; so therefore they could just disappear, in their entirety. No need for unpacking and sorting.
But, her heart knew differently, and so each box was to be unpacked and sorted; into the must keep, the maybe and the you’ve got to be kidding, I still have this? piles.
Several boxes in and she was losing the will to live. The you’ve got to be kidding pile was rather larger than she had expected.
As she lifted out yet another pile of paper, she already had a rainforest of paper ready for recycling, her eye was drawn to a small brown bottle wedged into the corner of the box. Glass, fragile, and amazingly, intact.
She lifted it out carefully, and without conscious thought, took out the old cork stopper and lifted the bottle to her nose. As she inhaled the scent of lavender she was back; back in her grandmother’s house, sitting on her grandmother’s bed, playing with the bottle while she listened to stories.
Magical stories, fantastical stories. Another world, another life. A childhood abroad, a life lived in full, adventures; amazing to a small child’s ears. She was transported to far off lands; words evoking sights and sounds and smells. She was right there, discovering and learning, questioning; excited and absorbed, imagination fired.
She was in the house; with laughter and love, the smell of baking and a roaring fire. She was seven again, playing hide and seek, the house full of quirky corners to get lost in. She was four again, celebrating her birthday, surrounded by family. She was five again, returning for the summer, full of her own stories to tell.
She was in the garden with the monkey puzzle trees, the rabbits, the big old pine tree you could sit inside; reading, dreaming, wishing; hours vanishing. The smell of pine, freshly cut grass, wild flowers. She was in her wellies, stomping through puddles and splashing through mud. She was running in the sunshine, stopping to pick sweet peas. She was giggling on the patio; ice cream dripping, licking sticky fingers.
She smiled, carefully replacing the stopper and putting the bottle in the keep pile, a ghost of the lavender smell, her favourite smell, lingering. In the air and in her memory.
This is a piece of fiction, however the bottle of lavender water exists (in a box somewhere).
You can find this weeks #ThePrompt linky here. I do hope this topic inspired you; I look forward to finding out what your favourite smells are.