Today was cold.
It’s winter in northern Europe, of course it’s cold.
The steely rain outdoors brings home that Sunday naughty lazy inertia.
Short days bring early nights to our lives.
Yes, of course it does, it’s a winter Sunday afternoon in the Netherlands.
_Bea, do want some tea? ..I ask my daughter.
_Yes yes, can I choose which one? (She says) ..Mum, I want this one!
It was an infusion of organic roses I got from a friend, with the promise to make me go to sleep earlier.
Yes, I do have friends romantic like this.
That roses tea was completely new to me, but the memories that came out to my mouth were not.
Had I never had rose tea? ..really, didn’t I?
well.. What’s so familiar about it ..?
(Glupt!) One sip wakes up my taste with memories from much-more-than-back-far-away. Strawberries from my childhood!
A smile comes to my face.
That happy memory gladdens my soul.
I realized in a blink that this roses tea tasted as the strawberries from my childhood. The same one I had found in some wines.
I run to look in my little black book tasting notes of Rosé Wine from Provence.
There it was, described with a childish enthusiasm: strawberries from my childhood, with a long finish and smooth mouth, velvet, elegant.
I go back to the tea and the conversation with my daughter.
I poured some more from the teapot.
Yes, I’m the kind of girl that uses teapot and a proper tea cup and saucer.
Aromas crush up from the cup, and once again takes my mind over.
(Glupt!) In my mouth, the strawberries, the afternoon tea with my grandmother, the breezes in a warm Summer evening in the terras.
There I was, with my daughter having a lovely talk with tea to bound foolish topics up. Reminding me those afternoon tea with grandma, listening to her stories, her outage memories .. and those late night cup of tea with my mother, telling her about my day, my fears and doubts in life.
(Glupt!) one more sip
.. one more smile
.. one more memory sparks to my palate.
I realize that it was my time to share a cup of tea, and talk about our day with my daughter.
I found myself telling her from my deepest memories, lovely afternoon tea with Grandma.
The time seemed had froze, I was proud of me.
After a little while, I was proud of my daughter sitting at that table, having tea with her mother.
What a lovely afternoon tea chat with my little girl, from the top of her six years old.
(Glupt!) a bit more of those strawberries from my childhood, which felt like happiness flowing from the tea pot, came gentile to my mouth.
_Mum, roses tea smells like roses and not strawberries. Don’t you think?
(ClickClack!!) A rational glimpse somehow light on in my mind.
When I was a little girl, in northeastern Brazil, there was no strawberries.
Or at least, not easily available enough to populate my childhood memories like that.
The pragmatic side of me began to assemble a puzzle of the memories much-more-than-very-old.
I rush upstairs to look for the old tablecloth, which my grandma used to set the table with. Was white linen embroidered with little red strawberries, with a delicacy that no longer exists in the market.
I put it on the table, arranged the tea cups, little tea spoons, cake plates ..
when I heard from my daughter:
_ Mum, now I get it! ..what you said before..
roses tea really taste like summer wild strawberries!
Later at night, when all is quiet and silence, I’ll open a Rose Wine from Provence.
Just to praise the summer strawberries, my childish memories.
You don’t need a PhD to know that memory changes when time past. What is less known is that as the memory fades it becomes more vulnerable.
“We store ours experiences as fragments and when you recollect those experiences what you try to do is to reconstruct a history around the fragments.” Every time you think twice you risk altering the memory even further. “When you remember something you change the biochemistry of the memory that you originally had. And, because of that, it becomes vulnerable to alterations.” Ultimately, after a few rewired pathways in our brains, we believe the alterations to be true and what details are you sure to be real.
(Dr Elizabeth Loftus studied human ability of memory distorsion)