I stood in our bedroom and listened. I was stilled by a sound that distinctly took me back to when I was about 4 or 5. I listened for the longest time, remembering things I had not thought of in probably 30 years.
When I was small, I visited my great great aunt’s beach home on a neighboring island from the one I grew up on. I remember the old house that had recently been put up on stilts. It was basically a beach shack. An old home built in probably the 30’s-40’s that had been raised up due to the erosion on the island. The home was cedar paneled and painted the prettiest blue, but worn from the wind and sun. The porch overlooked the ocean and spanned the length of the house. I played with my cousins all day in the sun, sand, and building what we called “drip castles”. Digging moats and catching fiddler crabs.We walked the beach every evening before the sun went down hunting for shells that had washed up on shore. Then we went to the porch of the old house and would swing in the hammock the rest of the evening just talking and singing.
The beach shack had the most basic kitchen, 2 small bedrooms, and one bathroom. They only had running cold water. But that was perfect for the heat of the summer! There was no air conditioning, so every window would be open to let the breeze flow through. The smells of the beach had penetrated the walls made of plank wood. I felt so at home in that house and like I was a part of nature.
For someone like me, who has lost the sense of smell, sounds have become my memory trigger. I guess everyone at one time or another has heard a sound that transports them to their happy place. For some it is music that takes them back to high school, or the sound of children laughing that reminds them of their children when they were happily playing.
So the sound in my bedroom was the sound of the air rushing through my apartment. The low sound of wind gushing under the door. Undulating with the pressure of the ever changing breeze outside. That sound that took me back to that time in the old beach house with all the windows open. The railings covered in seashells we had gathered over our time there. The worn out house that was alive with sounds of the ocean and the breeze flowing through it. The sound of a time forgotten, but now cherished.