As a child I would spend every summer with my grandmother who lived in a village by the Nara river in the Moscow region. We had a house and what then seemed to me like a large kitchen garden. There was a field opposite the house.
During the daytime the neighbors’ cows grazed there, and in the evenings all the children were catching May bugs and putting them into glass bottles. A little farther down the field there was an abandoned church. My childhood memories are accompanied by the smells of the things that surrounded me back then. There is a theory called the “Proust Phenomenon“. It says that odor-evoked memories create a sense of” time travel” transporting us back to the most distant and emotional moments of our life. They send such powerful signals to the human brain that meaningful moments from the past are recalled in great detail.
The house no longer belongs to us. It burned down a few years ago. Nevertheless, I go to my village every summer, stop by the fence for a few minutes, inhale the country air and mentally put it into bottles once used for maybugs, so that I can take the fragrance of that carefree time with me. The time when my grandmother, grandfather and father were still alive, and we were all drinking tea together on the terrace.