Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Things We Find...

Believe it or not, I was once a wizard. I carried a mighty staff, wore an enchanted amulet around my neck and collected rare seed pods with mysterious powers. The seed pods would render the bearer invincible and impervious to monster attacks. This provided to be most helpful when it came to facing evil-doing creatures in battle!

Above is a photo of my cousin James and I playing outside my grandparents' RV. Judging from the long-sleeves and taking in account the Florida heat and humidity, it must have been either Thanksgiving or Christmas. "Shirtsleeve weather" as they call it down South. The Cousins rarely saw each other, except for major holidays, so it must have been one of the two big ones.

Earlier today, I was about to throw out a box, when a nagging feeling told me to search it again. At the very bottom, tucked under the flap was one of the seed pods. No, it wasn't one of the seed pods from this photo, it was a different one... but from the same tree.

The seed pod I found at the bottom of the box was from a another time, maybe a decade and some change after the above picture was taken. My grandparents had decided to move back to Missouri permanently and were having the moving sale to end all moving sales. I was there to help out with the sale. Of course, I was an angry teenager full of teen angst and budding existential crisis, and I didn't want to be there. I wanted to hang out with my friends, not get rid of old junk.

Sometime during the moving sale, I must have gotten in an argument with my parents. To avoid causing an even bigger scene and to cool off, I went for a walk. Whenever I get really angry, even to this day, the only thing that will really subside my rage and mellow my temper is an aimless and mindless walk. It does wonders! Anyway, I found myself under that same tree where I used to play. The cement block or "The Great Stone Table" was cracked, crumbling and shiny black from where oil had spilled. The man with the domesticated skunk (with the odor glands removed), the rehabilitated wildlife, and the peacocks that would nest in the slow-growth oak trees laden with Spanish moss had long ago died and all the wire cages were empty or long gone. I absentmindedly pocketed a few of the seed pods while I thought of the stories we used to tell, the games we played, the things we found... like the tire-swing over the ditch on the retired dentist's property. A little less mad, I stalked off to the marina to look for fossils in the limestone and gators on the bank. All the while, the seed pods were in my pocket. When I bent down to try and dig out a fossilized clamshell, out popped a seed pod from my pocket and I got the bright idea to "skip stones" with the seed pods. I was unsuccessful with a big "PLOP!" and the old lady who ran the marina came out and yelled at me about how I was "disturbing the wildlife." I ran all the way back to the house with one seed pod clenched in my sweaty fist.

Finding the seed pod today brought back so many memories and made me realize just how much has changed and how in some strange way, I've come full circle. Instead of my grandparents having a moving sale, I'm about to have one. It'll be "my old junk" up for grabs.

It's so odd thinking about the things we find, the fragments that when pieced together form a life.


Luthien Thye said...

that was really nice :) as i read, you brought me along on that faraway long ago journey ... something like the pensieve would do to you in a harry potter world. thanks for sharing that delightful memory :)

SummersStudio said...

It is funny how change can bring us full circle. But in a good way I think it lets us go back to who we were and connect it back up to who we are.

Unknown said...

Childhood memories arent they the greatest. Out all day long playing and make~believe. The world was at our fingertips! I would never of changed my outdoors childhood for one of a computer laden one as so many have now. Yes your post is really nice. Whens the sale?

Azure Accessories said...

I really enjoyed this post...I could almost see the young teen on his journey...I think we all need a special box where we keep some of our most precious items...things that remind us of happy moments, like your seed pod!!!!!


TesoriTrovati said...

Hard to believe you were once a wizard? Still believe you are one, my friend!
So much possibility in one little seed. And so vivid a memory that you were able to recall...your life seems woven of all these threads that you blend together so wonderfully. Thanks for sharing that inspiration today!
Enjoy the day!

kvk said...

Ditto - wizard you were then, wizard you remain today.
Oh this story - so much of my own in there. Such anger, the long solitary walks, alligators (I used to feed them chocolate marshmallows) and fossilized clams. Amazing to me the things I now cherish that were such thorns at the time.
Best part is having the awareness to enjoy how those fragments are coming together after so many years.
Thanks for the memories!

nina said...

"full of teen angst and budding existential crisis" - this absolutely cracked me UP, honey. i cannot imagine you full of teen angst; you've been a wise old soul all of your beautiful life, i'm sure. sending you much love - xo

Kay said...

Isn't that what life is all about? Relationships and fragments. You are so amazingly spiritual and at one with the universe -- a rare man.

Lora Hart said...

What a lovely story Andrew. I'm in the midst of a grand purge myself. Finally letting go of some of my Mother's possessions. That I've stored away since 1978. Going through them brings back memories of watching her toilette before a night out and my childish assumptions of what it meant to be an adult.

Thanks for sharing this memory. And for visiting my blog. Lora ~