I’m a collector of things – but I am far from a hoarder.
Instead of stacking newspapers in my basement, I like to pick up odd rocks and twisted sticks from the trail when I’m out hiking. In the spring and summer, I’ve been known to press flowers between pages, and it wouldn’t be out of the spectrum of reality for me to do the same with fallen leaves in autumn.
I like to acquire vessels to hold these things in – like this bowl – which I just bought three of, so the girls and I can walk the trails, and collect our treasures. But I have had the pleasure of finding a jar or two, in my travels, that have sufficed beyond sufficiency for the task.
And, yes – I’ve passed this passion onto my littles (you should see their collection of seashells and seaglass). It’s my job to maintain their imagination levels, afterall. Their attention to detail is astounding – even inspiring.
In our home, windowsills are filled with rocks and the crumbling structures of aforementioned flowers and leaves. We’re daydreamers and when we catch a glimpse of these things in our daily lives, they transport us to the time where we found them – what we were doing; what we felt that day.
As I’m writing, I’m staring at a stick – which you might call a limb – its three-inches in diameter and seven feet tall. It’s got a mighty twist on it and was part of a dying Beech tree, so I sawed it off and hauled it home. It’s making it hard for me to type right now – as I am thinking about that day – before the girls, with their mom, and our dog..
We’ve also got a collection of antlers and bones – a couple of skulls – and a pelt of rabbit fur. These are all things that appealed to us and came to us naturally. I hid a couple of old beer cans on Ragged that I’m going to go pick up today. I already know where I’m going to put them – one on the shelf above me – one on the table on the deck, where I put the turkey feathers we found before the first snow this year.
I’ve even been known to transplant plants because there’s nothing like watching something grow and that’s what kitchen windows are for.
I put these things inside and outside and everywhere; sometimes out in the open – like on windowsills, which I told you before – but sometimes we’ll tuck these memories into corners and slide them into drawers. We like surprises – the girls especially – as they’ll stop in their tracks and examine their special specimen and sigh or smile.
We are the stories that got us here – the moments in time that set our course and smoothed out our wrinkles. Why not have a trinket to amplify those times in space where chance meetings changed us forever?
I’ve got a box in one of the cubbies in our loft here at the house that has all of the aforementioned. It’s what I’ll give the girls when I move on – it’ll tell them the story about their mother and me before there was the all of us…