Fragrance Saga: Natural Scents Around Us

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Fragrance Saga: Natural Scents Around Us
Fragrance Saga: Natural Scents Around Us
Anonim

To whom Chistye Prudy, and to me - pure, like a child's tear, transparent to the bottom of the Toguzak river. It flowed right outside the village of Komsomolets (now Karabalyk), where we (dad, mom, two older sisters and I) lived our last Kazakhstani year. In my memory, it remained narrow and shallow. Its course, as befits a flat river, was not turbulent. The channel either narrowed down to five or seven meters, then resounded to ten or fifteen. Only on one rift, not far from our house, Toguzak overflowed by 25 meters. The bottom of the river, mostly sandy, was lined with smooth boulders. Crayfish lived between the boulders. There were plenty of crayfish and it seems that nobody but us was interested in this delicacy. We were afraid that the cancer might cling to the finger, so we hunted them in a very original way - with the help of table forks. They pierced the shell and,without touching the arthropod with their hands, they shook it into an aluminum can.

Pike
Pike

Pike

Once my dad and I came to the river just at the moment when the fishermen were pulling nonsense ashore. A whole scattering of live silver poured out of the twisted roll onto the grass. I remember well only squinting, they were larger than the rest of the fish, toothy, red-finned, with dark camouflage stripes on the sides. The fish fiercely beat, squirmed, kicked, bounced … and smelled unusually pleasant. This is how the smell of river fish appeared in my "personal aroma".

Toguzak is my lost paradise, the promised land. To look at him, well, at least with one eye, I was tempted by my entire conscious life, starting that way from 15. It is clear that childhood in general seems to us a time of absolutely happy and conflict-free. Soon after my marriage, I began to urge my wife to go there together, to Komsomolets, and walk around all the “holy places” of my childhood. The paradox was that she immediately agreed. Picturesque sensual tales pierced a woman's heart. But it soon became clear that my winter dreams of the Kazakh steppe tend to melt without a trace along with the March snow. I myself have found an excuse that subconsciously I do not want to destroy pure and bright dreams. They say "you can't enter the same river twice," be it at least Toguzak or his deputy Tara from Vladimir. What if everything is not true !? So we didn't go there.

I was not even six years old when we moved to Vladimir. Seems like I could remember from that time? But, come on, I remember a lot! I remember the steppe eagles loitering in the heights, whose prey most often were gophers. I also remember the gophers themselves - who at the end of the 1950s had no life in the virgin land. These long-suffering steppe “meerkats” were recognized as the main pests of grain farming and sentenced to complete destruction. They were exterminated by all means and all and sundry, up to us, young boys.

I also remember how the steppe larks are singing loudly - where to them the voiceless Vladimir! I remember that already at the end of June comes the dry tropical heat, from which there is no escape either day or night. The steppe is burning out. All day long we were exhausted from the heat. And in the evening, all three of them began to walk in circles around the busy cooking of their mother, begging her to go to Toguzak to "bathe". Parents and themselves wanted to freshen up to death, because there was no bathroom in our house. Therefore, despite the delay, we pumped up our "lifebuoy" - a camera from the truck. A little sweat was only good for us. But how much joy it was when the mob, which included a couple of neighbors' children and Akbar's shaggy dog ​​besides us, was racing towards Toguzak. And ahead of us, bouncing on jerks, rolled a bloated black bagel of a car camera, exactly as tall as me.

I did not go to kindergarten. All days we spent with my bosom friend, the same free Cossack, Vovka Kolesnikov. There were no cars on the streets of the village. The doctors did not recommend the local climate to Barmaley. They never heard of maniacs. We were allowed to walk on our own wherever we wanted, except for Toguzak and a couple more points of the agreed places.

In the heat, the earth was heated to such an extent that it was impossible to walk on it barefoot. Dusty whirlwinds swirled here and there. But the young body and +40 o C in the shade - nothing at all. Scorched by the sun, we were both black with an even Central Asian tan. In the morning they were clean and washed, by the end of the day we were thoroughly dusty, and fried like seeds in a frying pan. When Toguzak was canceled, my mother bathed me in a flat, galvanized wash tub. She laughed at my tan: "But we will wash it off now!" She liked to bathe me. She was unreasonably cheerful and, torturing my delicate skin with a rough washcloth, sang something. This, if I may say so, the water procedure brought me only suffering. If I had my way, I would never wash at all. True true!

But besides what entered my consciousness through my eyes and ears, there was one more component in the memories of Kazakhstan - smells. They didn’t attract attention, they didn’t have blisters of the eyes - most often they weren’t conscious at all. But as it turned out later, they made up an equally significant part of the impressions. True, I realized this years later, when for the first time in my life I began to think about what lay ahead; and the desire to return to his happy childhood echoed.

See everything. Hear everything. Sniff everything

As a child, my nose was unusually sensitive to odors, although I did not understand or appreciate it. But somehow my mother guessed about it. My "talent" didn't add to my self-esteem - tell someone - they will laugh at me. Nevertheless, the spirit of research encouraged not only to look closely and listen to everything that surrounded; and taste everything. But also sniff.

Childhood does not criticize or analyze, but only firmly, for life, remembers. Remembers and imprints everything indiscriminately - what you see, what you hear, what you smell. This is the strategy of human survival - remember everything, learn everything - something will come in handy. Knowledge Arms - "Knowledge itself is power" - Francis Bacon.

Creeping thyme
Creeping thyme

Creeping thyme

Apart from the not always pleasant everyday "aromas", my first discoveries on this path were the most common steppe herbs - wormwood, thyme and oregano. The aroma of Kazakhstan is forever imprinted in children's memory: a multicomponent mix of wormwood, thyme, bedbugs and the rest of the herbal assortment. This bouquet characteristic of the steppe subsequently, no, no, and emerged from the back streets of memory with an obscure nostalgic flute. This happened to me, for example, when on a sultry day I found myself in the Central Russian steppe analogues - on a forb floodplain meadow or in the middle of a vast dry watershed.

After moving to Central Russia, the world of the surrounding smells has changed a lot. Some aromas that were dizzy in Komsomolets, the same thyme, for example, were not even there. But new, no less significant ones appeared - bird cherry, lily of the valley, two-leaved lubka … And when dad broke the front garden under the windows, they were supplemented with exquisite garden scents - sweet peas and sweet tobacco, mock orange and roses.

Lily of the Valley Rosea
Lily of the Valley Rosea

Lily of the Valley Rosea

Lyubka is two-leaved
Lyubka is two-leaved

Lyubka is two-leaved

But most of all, the year I spent with my grandfather in the country, from the summer of 1958 to the summer of 1959, added to my personal aroma. All four seasons passed in front of me there. And I not just watched them from the side, but learned all their charms on my own skin. Roasted in the July sun and bathed until blue in the pond. For the first time in my life I was seriously bitten by bees, and this fact was documented by a photograph in which I, a 6-year-old boy, appeared with sad, swollen eyes like a pig's. Before me in turn passed the fading summer, the beginning of autumn and the long homeless pre-winter. Then, somehow, overnight, snow poured (and the snow smells too!), And we rode down the mountain on a huge wooden sleigh.

What a miracle! Imagine - a dozen girls and boys - from six to twelve - and all on the same sleigh - the heap is small! At first, we were dragging this thing up the mountain with the whole herd, which in itself was very fun. And then uncontrollable, in fact, sledges carried us for a long time along the rolling slope. And how could we not be crippled!

Winter smoothly turned into spring, which exactly according to Prishvin passed in three stages: a spring of light with a dazzling sun and a drop; the spring of water - when everything melted and flowed, and the village boys first dug in the wet snow and took the water away from the houses, and then started the boats in the streams; and the spring of greenery - from the first wimpy grasses and flowers of the mother-and-stepmother on the southern slopes - to a solid green riot.

All this year and now in front of me at a glance. These were the times when half of the Russians could hardly make ends meet: they lived in barracks, ate somehow, and wore patched clothes. Our daily diet was clearly lacking in fat, so fatness was very rare. Cheeky people were not respected then, in schools they were spanked in every possible way, and as soon as they did not call names. And as always happened in Russia in such cases, the Russian people rescued black bread, potatoes and "pasture" - mushrooms and berries.

Strange, but I remember those years as years of general optimism. Everyone was waiting for something "big and bright", everyone was cheerful and welcoming. Now I know for sure that this was due to the "stable positive dynamics in the people's well-being", which was natural after several hungry war years. We, youngsters, did not know any other life, and therefore were happy with what we had. That is, by today's standards, nothing. Our toys were completely homemade. The boys have bows and arrows, wooden pistols and "shemulalki". The girls have rag dolls and "doll houses" in shoeboxes.

However, it was the absence of the current "amusement park" that prompted children to search for them on their own. Only out of bewilderment, one can assume that home-made checkers are somewhat inferior to factory ones, or that Lego develops imagination better than cubes. All of my peers recall with nostalgia how diverse our games were. Moreover, it was so throughout the country - in the center of the capital, in a remote village. Everywhere children played the same games: Classics, Chizhik, Gorodki, Cossacks-Robbers, Bouncers, Breaking chains, Shtandr …

Of course, the village had its own entertainment. The Saryevsk boys walked three kilometers to the Tara river - crimson burbots. The girls gathered in the meadow, and with gusto weaved wreaths of dandelions. In large mixed companies we went to the forest to pick berries.

Common blueberry
Common blueberry

Common blueberry

But it happened that we, children, went to the forest just like that - for "snowdrops" or for lilies of the valley. Isn't it, now it looks like an extraordinary luxury - to devote half a day to a hike for flowers. But it happened so. And we didn't see anything special in this. The organizers of such events, of course, were the girls. But since both of my sisters were among them, it was impossible to hide it from me. They didn't want to take me to their bachelorette party. To ward off persona non grata, a multitude of tricks were undertaken. We tried to escape, but where there. They came up with various options for misinformation - they said that they had changed their minds and would not go anywhere. But this did not go away either. The last reason was - to shame: to appeal to manhood and call him a "girl's shepherd." Nothing worked on me - not such a fool.

Such persistence was easily explained. Their company itself did not seduce me. And lilies of the valley were just an excuse. I just loved to be in the forest. Everything in the forest was interesting. The forest attracted me, and at the same time frightened me with its mystery. My grandfather never scared me with the forest, but my friends were scared. And this, with my impressionability, was enough.

Image
Image

Continuation - in the article Saga about fragrances: lily of the valley and two night violets.

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