The curve of a handle, the turn of a cup, the flowers on a vase, the trim on a towel, an old cup opaque by dust… beautiful yet vain…some of my thoughts as I am unpacking eight large cardboard boxes that have been sitting idly by for two years in a closed storage room. Eight large cardboard boxes holding heirlooms and little things I have collected through the years. Memories of a little boy who ran to a sand bucket to play with a GI Joe, mementos from my daughters’ wedding years ago, an inherited 70 year old crystal goblet with a braided stem long gone out of style, a cute little bird house, and termites.
Running to empty out these boxes before the termites do, and reduce everything to dust… I know I am exaggerating but the Word does say “not to gather up treasures where moth and rust do destroy,” and may I add, earthquakes do, too. I wonder about these things that I had gathered up where moth and rust do destroy. They are lovely, but they don’t last. To think of all the care and effort we invest in them. Some of them out last us and then some of them will not. We look at them, associate them to prior experiences, and we attach a sentimental value to an object, because we want to remember an experience we treasure or a beauty reflected in them, but they break, get tarnished, and bind us to a past that is gone. We fret when we lose these items, but when they break we somehow get over it and keep on living, don’t we?
Having been separated from these things for years has helped me be more objective and somewhat surprised, too, as I have unwrapped each one. Some I don’t deny reminded me of someone, while others brought laughter, but none tears. These years have detached me from these objects, which I very much needed, so I could look at them a little more objectively, as I considered why have I kept this or that. Why have I kept this which I have been able to live with out for some years? On the other hand, why I wanted this in my life again? Perhaps I want it as a reminder of a sweeter side of myself, which I had forgotten.
Then I ask myself do I need these reminders? What is it that they are reminding me of? Just how many of them do I need? Can I live without them? Questions, questions, questions...to live sensibly we need to ask.
Well those that remind me and my family of our mutual experiences will definitely stay, in moderation. Those that connect me to my ancestors and family history, will also remain. Then those that reflect who I am and my sense of beauty and humor also have a place, but not in exaggeration. Truthfully, now that I know I can live without these things, I know I can reduce and share.
Things have some sort of significance if we associate them with an experience and yesterday, the experience was visiting Mami. The “objects,”my mom and my daughter, Rosangela, and my self. I was part of this picture.
Mami doesn’t remember much these days. She remembers the fleeting memories of smiles and the joy of someone coming to visit. The good feeling that someone has remembered to come and reminded her that we are valued for who we are and not for how we perform. That we can laugh, smile, and reminisce together for a little while is enough for now. Enjoying this while it lasts is more valuable than a thousand trinkets no matter how lovely they may be.