A thunderstorm blew through Oakville on the weekend, and it brought me back to summers spent at my grandparents’ cottage in the Laurentian mountains in Quebec.

The cottage was built in the early 1900s, on a hillside with glimpses of the lake just visible in between the trees.  A screened-in porch wrapped around all sides of the cottage, where we would listen to the thunder rolling closer and watch the dark skies and flashes of lightning as the storm made its measured way across the lake. The sound of rain on the leaves in Oakville, slow at first, then steady, then gradually fading to a soft drip, drip, was remarkably similar to those rainy mornings.

Oakville is dotted with trails, where my dog and I frequently walk. As we duck into a cool leafy trail, the noise of cars fades and nature takes over; again, it takes me back to the cottage. Blue jays squawk, red-winged blackbirds call and woodpeckers tap, tap, tap. Occasionally I hear a screen door slam, or smell bacon cooking on a Saturday morning.

Sounds, sights, smells, tastes — they all have the power to transport us to another time and place. What transports you?