15 Seconds

The air is mostly still as only the lightest of tree branches are moved by the breeze. In the distance a low, lulling hum of a lawn mower drones on. Most others have moved inside, to escape the chill of the air; it’s much fresher these days, damper too as the skies begin to grey over. There’s not much here to inspire, not much to write home about, on the surface of things at least. I guess some folk could find this moment close to lonely but instead I find it peaceful, even with that distant din of machinery.

Despite the calm, the peace, the stillness, I find myself sitting before a gateway and I know that I’m less than a full arms- length away from journeying out of suburbia.

It takes 3 seconds; I’ve witnessed the warm amber tones of spice markets, dancing Indian silk and sequins glistening on carnival headdresses.

In 7 seconds I’ve inhaled the perfume of the mixed scents of a thousand punnets laden with fruits, wandered the oldest citrus groves and become lost in a forest of Pine trees.

By 15 seconds I’ve been treated to and savoured the finest Parisian Tarte au Citron, the sticky sweet syrup of Arabian candied fruits, the wild pepper of Southern Asia and the nostalgia of a bag of humble pick ‘n mix sweets that I’d eat at my Grandparents’ in my childhood, surrounded by warmth.

And then back to the freshness and calmness, even more peaceful as the lawnmower engine has powered down, but for a few seconds at a time I was taken on my own unique journey, an exploration all of my own.