Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Scent of Home

It is amazing what the sense of smell can do.

When I could see I didn't pay much attention to my sense of smell. Oh the odd stink of petrol from the oil refinery or odour of chlorine from the swimming baths in town. But not much else caught the attention on a day to day basis.

The other day though I was at the coast, a place called Elkhorn Slew. A broad salt marsh on the Pacific Coast of California. But the scents that filled the air transported me thousands of miles back to England. Back to walks along the banks of the River Mersey. Back to Runcorn and the neighboring towns of Widnes and Warrington.

I used to walk along the bank of the Mersey on my way to college in the early 1980's across the West Bank area of Widnes.

The air was often filled with the smell of the brackish salty sands when the river had thinned to a  stream. The Mersey is very tidal there. In Liverpool one might notice the up and down of the river but between Rubncorn and Widnes there are wide sands, treacherous because the river can flood in seconds as the Mersey Boar floods over the sands faster than a man can run/

But on Sunday, standing beside Elkhorn Slew, I could have been looking over the Mersey. A gentle lapping of small waves over the mud which popped and slurped as worms fed.

But the air was full of the scents which brought back memories of years ago, standing by a river so far away. Memoies of home.