Or how small things can evoke a rush of memories.
Scent is said to have an immediate power to transport us to a moment in our past, whether it be a bad time or good. This is widely accepted; most of us can quickly think of a scent that zooms us back to a moment in time, or evokes a face, a feeling. Seemingly insignificant household sounds have this magical power also. Little did I know when I donned my brand new Dr Scholl’s where I would end up zooming.
When I wore my recently purchased Dr Scholl’s in the house for the first time it happened to be a brilliant sunshiny-summer’s day; the sky was clear of clouds, a rich clean blue; the French doors were open to the outside air. A slight breeze sweetened by the drying paddocks mixed with the smell of dry dust of parched soil and was delicately permeating the cool of the house’s interior. As I walked on the parquetry floor, the sound of my Dr Scholls evoked such a powerful recalling of being, of standing, as a girl, in my Grandmother’s house, in summer, with the doors open to her garden to let in the breeze from the outside, with the sky clear of clouds, a rich clean blue; I physically halted. I stopped walking in my hallway, and stood still, as if rooted to the spot. Standing in my Dr Scholl’s I remembered so many parts of my Grandmother’s way of living that I realise now had a huge impact on the way I choose to live each day.
She was a fan of the Dr Scholl’s sandal, and I recall she would buy a pair every year from the chemist, always a nude colour leather. She extolled their virtues for keeping the bones and muscles of the feet healthy and flexible. She had a pair she wore in summer in the house, and an older, more worn pair she kept by the back door, her gardening ‘clogs’. After a day in the garden, she would soak her feet in warm water and make sure her feet were very clean and tidy, and then wear the inside ‘clogs’ around the house. Always red toenails. Always. Of course! After I had gone to bed, I could hear her moving around the kitchen and the house, a deliberate, surefooted sound.
I remember trying them on as a child and being fascinated with the moulded timber underfoot, so smooth; too smooth I thought. “That is made for your toes to make them grip” said Grandma. “So good for your feet” she said.
In the world of sensible comfy footwear, the big Daddy of sensible, the Birkenstock, has never tempted me. Somehow they always look filthy to my eye, even when new, they have a sort of beaten earth ground-in-dirt look to them that repels me, the upward curve of the edges of the Birkenstock sole that cup the heel somehow add to the general grotty effect. Each to his own, but despite the fact that Birkenstocks may well be comfortable, I have discovered that the Dr Scholl’s sandal – (as they are marketed)- meets my requirements for a slip on house shoe that is oddly chic and very comfortable. Kind of ugly-beautiful. Chic because they are totally only what they need to be to serve the purpose.
I miss my Grandmother very much, and I swear that day when I stood still, rooted to the spot in my hallway, I swear she was, for just a moment, standing beside me.
And PS Helena, you were also right about the lemon juice in warm water on rising each morning. Thank you! xx