They say smell is the sense most closely tied to memory. The right scent sends you hurtling back like an olfactory time-machine. But I think there is something about sound as well. Not just the memory-making music of youth — but noises.
During our recent camping trip I could tell the time of day by the light and by the sounds around me. I had no watch, no phone but I had the time within the half-hour.
Hammers echo throughout the camp ground, answering each other in tinks and tings
Engines grumble and air mattresses slowly rise
Terse voices as couples put tents together for the first time — a true test of any relationship
Slight, satisfying crackles as beers are opened and clinked in celebration of a readied site and the first drink of many
Then the silence as the noises of industry subside
And the realisation of the bush
The low hum of insects and the creek rushing over rocks
Gas bottles hiss and heat dinner
Children scramble as they are called back to their camp sites
The sound of thunder rolling over the hills
Panicked campers battening down the hatches
Low voices and the occasional ring of laughter
Adults gather around camp fires and children snore gently
Guitars strum somewhere in the distance
Scratching possums, unafraid of the rain, raiding anything and everything
The rain, falling harder, magnified sound upon the tarp strung taught
Under the covers now and straining to differentiate the water sounds. The heavy rain, water pooling and the creek filling, gathering stream.
Kookaburras laughter denying sleep
The shushing of children who are up way too early
Crunch of gravel underfoot as the morning pilgrimage to the bathroom commences
Barbecues sizzling with promise
Children laughing and low murmurs becoming less concerned with waking those around them
And then we all leave. Bush returns to quiet. Other sounds are magnified.
The low hum of insects, the rush of lizards in the bushes, the creek bubbling prettily as the sounds of tyres on dirt fade away.
What are your favourite holiday sounds?