Early morning sees me scrambling up into a thick Devon hedge opposite my house to pick Honesty seed heads. Honesty; that fickle, wayward and gregarious flower which seems happier tangled amongst the Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Hazel than where it started its life, cosseted in my Cottage Garden.
Back indoors, something extraordinary happens as soon as I hold these delicate, papery, soft brown, translucent pods. My fingers start to move by themselves and I just watch in amazement as my hands decide to peel back the outer layers of the seed cases. Wondrously and in a way that I have not done since I was a child, I reveal shimmering, magical discs of pure moonlight and my heart is at once full of feelings of happiness.
I am immensely comforted and moved by this moment; a surprise sensory pleasure and memory evoked by a gentle touch made so many years ago. It is immensely consoling to discover such a powerful tactile tool and my first experience of how recollections may be triggered and reclaimed, even when for so many, those pathways in the brain may have been eroded by age or Alzheimer’s disease.
And how wonderful a thing it is to know that each time we touch or hold something which we love, that the sensation will never actually be lost, but will be preserved in a little time capsule, waiting to be released, just like the Honesty seeds.