Inventory and Treasures: A love letter to our lives.
A bowl of rice, a half burnt candle in a Mason jar, a bluebird feather as a book mark. A worn rug, threadbare, from children playing racecars and the shoes of a thousand visitors, a letter from an old friend.
Tonight I am taking inventory, making lists of the things that hold my heart, the return address on the envelope, my grandmother’s familiar script, beautiful cursive a throughline to another generation, before the beeps and buzzes, the text from last weekends date, the one that reads “WYD” and I delete it, because my cup is full here.
I think of how I organize my hiking pack before a weekend trip. I lay out all my gear on the dining room table, sleeping bag and stuff sacks, water bottle and carabiner, camp towel and bandana, flashlight and straw hat. I admire it as I fold it all, the things that will sustain me, the things I will carry with me, packing it into pockets and zipping them closed tenderly, adoringly, carefully.
Tonight I lay out my memories, thinking through my sweet family and the friends I’ve collected along the way, collected as if they were berries just turning plump in the sunshine, gathered into a bucket or a basket or my skirts hem. I think of the people I have loved, the man with eyes the color of pine straw, the friend with the cackling laugh, the train hoppers and the hobos, the academics and poets, the troublemakers and the others, the kind who wait at home for you, ready to make you coffee, to say good morning, beautiful, the kind who soothe your soul.
A half drunk bottle of good whiskey, an empty bottle of bad beer, two tea cups sitting outside on the porch table, their contents consumed, their tea bags dry, the conversation still sweetly present on my mind. I take inventory of all the love and loss, the comings and goings, those I have kept and those from which I have drifted away, those who have been here decades, those I have just met.
My child sleeping in his bedroom, a book with browning pages, the bathroom warm from a shower, an earring who lost her companion, a framed picture of my brother, a piece of cake from the neighbors’ party. A load of laundry waiting to be folded, a mouse scratching in the attic, the smell of garlic in the kitchen, a friends quiet knock on the back door… I take inventory of it all, I add and subtract, collect it all up in my arms and hold it in, life is meant to be well lived.