My memory files are old, the draws rusted, hard to extract. The pages themselves abound with moth-holes.
Yet sometimes a picture, music, smell or sensation unlocks a door and I find myself in a past time, basking in its warm glow. I remember how it felt to be a child, a teenager, new mother, my first taste of the orient etc. etc. Sweet feelings overwhelm me and for a few blissful moments I taste the past again.
Like the hedgehog, as I gaze I’m back. Me and my sister, peering, noses cold against the window, all a hush as a dark, prickly shape appears, hesitantly nearing the saucer of milk my mother set out every night. I remember the cold of the kitchen, but the warmth of our hearts, my mother’s soft smile – she helped more than hedgehogs. The tiny creature lapping eagerly outside our door was our shared secret.