It only takes the smallest reference to bring a lifetime of memories flooding back. The latch on our french doors at home was the same. Probably installed about the same time. One evening we were sitting around contemplating the security, and testing it out. “We had one like that – it worked fine.”
And suddenly, I was back there. With the rough haircord carpet, the rattling of those doors, and the whistling of the breeze that whisked in off the lake. The wonderful sunrises that lit the lake and our lounge. And the winter’s evening fire reflected in the glass panes.
The banging and slamming of them on a hot summer’s day as we kids ran hungry, laughing and dripping and bedraggled from lake to breakfast, to morning tea, lunch, and finally dinner out on the deck with them thrown open; letting the inside out, and the outside in. We lived in our togs in summer then. Nut brown. In and out of the water, all day every day if we were allowed. If we weren’t swimming, we were eeling, digging for koura with our toes, or paddling about in the dinghy my grandfather made for us.
I can feel the sun, and that freezing drip of water that suddenly slides down your back after you’ve dried, the prickly grass where we lay, like lizards, warming up, not bothering to get a towel; smell the lake water and willow roots and rotting boards on the jetty. Taste the piles of buttered toast and mountain of corn on the cob, the bacon and egg breakfasts out on the lawn.
All that in a moment. From a door latch. Somewhere miles and years away.