Monday, July 02, 2007

Discarded Things

I had such a good sleep last night--a rare thing for me--to actually have enough! It felt so good to awaken sleep satiated instead of sleep deprived.

After breakfast I laced on my Rockport walking shoes and set out for some much needed exercise. It was the perfect day--sun shining brightly but not too hot and with a breeze that danced around me as I walked.

Twenty minutes or so into the walk I was coming to the end of our tiny village of Bond Head and heading into countryside--a few fields and then the beautifully landscaped golf course of The Club at Bond Head to walk past.

As I passed the last house on the way out of the village, the breeze carried the fragrance of flowers from across the fields on a sound like the ocean--the rushing sound that hides in a sea shell waiting for a child to put it to its ear.

On I walked, ears, eyes and nose taking in every detail that they could, as I wondered at the delicate and beautiful detail of wild flowers and smiled at the waving bulrushes, shrouded in fuzz.

But it wasn't only grasses, stones and fallen feathers that met my eye as I looked down to the ground. I was dismayed at the Tim Horton's cups, plastic slushy containers and other debris that lined the ditches non-stop--the cast-offs of the passing cars.

Later, back at home, the phone rang. It was Tiffany-Amber's and Victoria's other grandmother--Grandma Adams--calling to chat.

Marilyn--that is her name when not being called "Grandma"--updated me on the status of her ongoing "purging project." She observed that we spend the first fifty years of our lives collecting stuff that we just have to have--and the rest of our years getting rid of it. Her daughter Melody has given dire warnings about being left with a house full of stuff to deal with when Marilyn eventually leaves this earth--which she doesn't have plans to do any time soon.

So Marilyn is divesting herself of all sorts of hitherto "sacred cows." She told me that her best china is going--Royal Doulton--white on white with an elegant silver band. Her stem-wear has already gone. She's replacing the good china and everyday dishes with white Corelle. She's previously given away or sold several other "treasures."

We talked about how it's the thing for couples getting married to register for china--taking great care in picking out a pattern that is personal and elegant. We wondered why! Both of us agreed that it takes up valuable living space and doesn't pay for its keep.

We wondered about our shared granddaughters--would they treasure the things we want to pass on to them? I was worried that in her zeal, Marilyn was forgetting about that. I needn't have worried--she has saved some special treasures for them.

I have things that were my great grandmothers and I cherish them greatly and hope that one day my grandchildren will. One of my treasures is a painted metal bowl--white on the inside and pale green outside. The paint was chipped when I brought it across the ocean to Canada--and it's more chipped since I dropped it on the floor recently. I use it as a fruit bowl, and I think often of my Dutch great grandmother, Adriana Paauwe-Van de Werf to whom it belonged.

Then I think about what it is that I really want to pass on to my grandchildren. Perhaps I will be the last person to find significance in a chipped metal bowl--and that's okay--significance, as beauty--is in the eye of the beholder. But I hope that deeper things will not be thrown away. I hope that all six of them keep the Faith. I hope this for my God-children too--it's the one thing--the only thing I really hope they never throw away.

No comments: