My son was going to a dance and asked if we had any shoe polish. It surprised me very much, as we never shined our modern shoes.
When he opened the old tin which he had found in the garage, its unmistakable scent filled me. I suddenly saw myself, a little girl in navy blue uniform, just arrived from school, sitting on the tile floor in the corner of the kitchen. I was polishing my shoes, as we all had to do, the minute we entered the front door, after a day at school.
It was a ritual, a calming moment to transition between two worlds, school, and home… a moment to rest from the long walk from the school. I would then step in my felt slippers, and slide on the waxed wooden floors with my brother.
After all these years, the polish still had its calming power on me, and I looked up at my son, a big smile on my face.