The scent is intoxicating nearly narcotic. Slowly I raise the bouquet of tiny blossoms to my face. My eyes close, and in an instant, before my lashes have the chance to touch my cheeks, I am transported. Five, ten, twenty, more than forty years back. I am eight years old again, standing in a glade ankle deep in Lily of the Valley. I am in a forest in Mala Nedelje in Yugoslavia, present day Slovenia.
My brother and I are in a frenzy. The perfume which emanates from these tiny little bell shaped blossoms is almost narcotic. In a mirthful joy, under a verdant canopy, broken here and there by an aquamarine sky, we pick and gather. We pick flower after flower. We gather fistfuls of memories….
“Yolanda” my husband calls.
I open my eyes and I am back in Vienna, back in the here and now, back to my adult self. But the Lily if the Valley is still here. Their scent is still present. Their perfume fills the air creating a bridge over which the past can reach the present. My eight year old self emerges and touches my heart. The essence of who I am melts into the scent of the flowers and perfumes Vienna’s 13th district. There is an undeniable sense of magic which lingers in the air. I revel in who I was, who I am and who I am becoming. Grateful to be able to move between time and space, transported by the power of fragrance.