It’s the smell that brings me back. The heady scent of wood searing under the power of the mid-day sun; boards hot under my feet as we navigated the 100 yards between my grandmother’s little apartment and the beach. We’d patter over the boards with bare feet, eager to get in the ocean but respectful of the hot splinters welcomed with a hasty step. Yes, it was definitely the smell. Deep and intoxicating, it carried everything summer, from the tracks of the tram to the blankets that held the seashells we’d sell in the summer.
The ocean is an old friend whose salty mist greets hello; the marsh is an aromatic, reluctant call to home. But it’s the knowing, timeless scent of the boardwalk that unleashes the memories deep within.