Childhood in the Garden

Garden - Natalia Stolarska

You know how certain smells can instantly transport you to a different time and place? I was drinking coffee by the window a while back and a whiff of fresh air blew in and suddenly I was a barefoot kid in the garden, eating breakfast outside with my aunt.

The garden was actually an allotment out of town. It feels like I spent half of my childhood there, even though logic suggests it could only have been a month or so every year. We sold it when my aunt died; it just wasn’t the same without her. I sometimes miss the trees and the vines, the rose bushes and the raspberries and the sweet peas, and the running around barefoot, and my aunt reading old books to me.

All my childhood people would read to me out loud and I would draw and draw and draw. I illustrated the Arthurian legends at age 7 and the Three Musketeers at age 14.

Now I’m illustrating my own memories.


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