Monday, May 14, 2012

Mom's Jewelry Box

When I was little it was always a big adventure to get to go to "the dump".  There was no garbage pick up where we lived, and so getting rid of our trash meant going to the local landfill.  Our blue pick up truck would be full of plastic garbage bags filled with refuse, and hosing out the maggots from the back of the truck was a disgusting chore.

But, we loved going to the dump.  Sure, it smelled and the flies were awful.  But, treasures could be found.  My sister and I would skirt the edges of the heap while our dad threw the bags of trash out of the truck and occasionally we found things too good not to drag home.

It was my brothers tho' who found the best find--a jewelry box.  They brought it home and gifted it to our mother.  It was a black faux leather material.  The lid hinged up and a small drawer slid out.  In it my mom stored all of her treasures.  We were forbidden to play with it and it held the place of the sacred in our house.

Gradually, as we grew older she began to trust us with the borrowing of some of those treasures--earrings for a school dance, a necklace for a family gathering.  But, I guess in some ways it was a misplaced trust--for, children are children, and I still feel the slow ache of regret when I remember losing one of a pair of rose shaped coral earrings.

It is that pain of regret that cause me to hold things lightly--because, things are not people and even irreplaceable things hold less value than the hands and souls that imbued them with that value.  Things end up in the dump, and are scavenged by the picking children and birds.

I do wonder tho' what became of that faux leather box and its treasures and long for it in an unexpected way.  Perhaps, it is because the things are all that are left when the people are gone.

And, in case you wonder if this trash picking was an anomaly...

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