Average Rating 3.6/5
Review by jjff
Many people, myself included, like photographs as the best kind of a souvenir of time passing by, from special occasions to chronicling our everyday lives. All the while, the past also lingers on in our minds in ways unseen, even more powerful than visual imagery as memories grow intertwined with scents. Their ephemeral testimonies are what takes me back in time, deliberately or unexpectedly, makes me relive a moment in the past, resurrecting the atmosphere of a day long gone whenever I reach for its echoes.
December of 2002. My then-husband and I were showing a prospective graduate student, his compatriot, around our mid-sized Southern college town frowning at the cold gloom of short days without snow.
I remember the three of us settled for an evening of conversation and hot cocoa at a quirky local coffeehouse in the Old City. My then-husband's and the girl's melodious talk in the language of Rumi and Hafez, two pairs of sparkling molasses-brown eyes, the coziness of the mismatched light fixtures and bookshelves lining the exposed brick walls. I remember my black cashmere sweater, so soft against my skin, and the scent of Vanilia I had picked that evening, its rich, comforting ambery warmth with delectable smoky vanilla bean overtones.
Time has since gently eroded the particulars of the evening from my memory. Life changed as the visiting student moved to town to continue her studies here, my Persian with eyes like a starry night eventually became another's husband, the coffeehouse went out of business, and the beautiful sweater ended up in a Goodwill donation box. Still, a whiff of Vanilia is all is takes to conjure up the fading memory of a pleasant evening somewhere in time when we were so young and full of hopes and dreams, some of which were not meant to be.