Nostalgia Through Everyday Sounds

It seems as if nostalgia is most commonly a visual experience; looking through a box of childhood belongings, reading a letter, or coming across a picture of a walkman (I’m really showing my age here…) or a cassette tape online. Our other senses have a role to play too, of course; listening to an old song or hearing a voice in a movie, running your fingertips along a banister of an old family home, tasting or smelling a dish that you haven’t come across for years.

I had never really thought about nostalgia through everyday sounds, however, until last week. I had just put together a pot of soup, and as I cleaned up the veggie scraps and rinsed the cutting board, it began to boil. It splashed over the lip, slid down the side of the pot, and landed near the burner with a hiss. And that TSSS! immediately took me back to my childhood; to the once a week sounds of my mother or father making a big pot of homemade chicken soup. It was lovely, almost as if the sound had illuminated a little piece of my heart.

When I relayed the story to my parents, my dad asked if I was trying to insinuate that my mom always caused spills… Apparently corny dad jokes are another bit of everyday sound nostalgia 😉

Have you ever had a similar experience?


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