I’ve been feeling awfully introspective lately, and a little bit sentimental, too.
Perhaps it’s this time of year, where we are perched precariously between seasons: in a few short weeks, the last of the leaves will fall, leaving us with the gray, barren branches of winter, the ones that always, for some inexplicable reason, make me think of my childhood.
I spent my grade school years growing up in a quintessential, suburban Colonial house in South Carolina. Aside from being adorned with pink heart wallpaper and furnished with my mom’s girlhood 1960’s Dixie White and Gold dresser and desk, my second-floor bedroom was equipped with a large window that looked out over our sprawling front yard.
My daughter Zoey’s two-year-old smile spreads wide across her face as I lean over and unbuckle her from her carseat.
“Are you ready for some fun?” I ask.
Her response of a giggle fills the car as I lift her free and blow a raspberry kiss against the high curve of her little cheek. We emerge into the brightness of the day and then stand still for a moment, blinking as our eyes adjust to the hot, overhead sun.
It’s late August, and Zoey and I are in Ohio visiting my parents. For me, this trip has become more of a necessity than a luxury given the fact that everything back home seems to be coming apart at the seams: Life has been hard, love has all but faded, and my heart has become a veritable wasteland.
About a week or so ago, as my daughter Zoey and I were getting ready for the day, I flipped on the television. I had heard rumors of snow, and although I normally seek out the weather report on my phone, the remote was closer. The weatherman hadn’t appeared yet so I continued to pack Zoey’s lunch.
Normally, Zoey and I chat as we busy ourselves in the morning, talking about the day ahead. But as I asked her if she was looking forward to ballet class, I found I had to repeat myself, which is something I rarely have to do. I found her in the living room, staring at the screen, a look of concern clouding her normally happy, joyful face. I turned my own face toward the television, and I watched scene after scene of awful, terrible news: a shooting… a robbery… a police search for a missing child… a murder…
As a child, I was never much of a collector. There were a few things like my Strawberry Shortcake figurines (that still smell 30 years later — talk about nostalgia) and a handful of My Little Ponies, but nothing of that much importance, and nothing like the collections my daughter has. They range from tiny plastic jewels that have most likely fallen off hair clips or fancy greeting cards, to a group of rocks or a mismatched selection of trinkets that seemingly have nothing to do with one another. (But take Zoey’s word for it: they do.) An empty box almost elicits more joy from her than one boasting presents, because to her, its emptiness just begs to be filled with a world of exciting, yet-to-be-found treasures.
When I ask if maybe we need to get rid of some of these things, she looks at me as if I’ve lost my mind. To her, all of those things mean something. And to be honest, I get it.
Because there is one thing that I collect that is of great importance to me. Collected throughout my teen years and college and even into today, they aren’t even things–they are words. For as long as I can remember, I have been a collector of quotes.
A simple journal was always the perfect gift for me, because its pages could hold hundreds of inspirational words. I have a collection of them, all different shapes and sizes, all of them documenting, in essence, the things I have found important in my life. And if someone ever told me I had to get rid of one of these, I, like Zoey, would have looked at them like they had two heads. No way. No how.Continue reading “Week 10: Hope is Here | Everyday Nostalgia”
The other day as I was doing a bit of early (well, very early) spring cleaning, I walked into my daughter Zoey’s room to put away some of her art supplies. She was there, standing at the window, her little face pressed up against the glass. I stopped and watched her for a minute, wondering what she was doing. Outside, snowflakes quietly fell from the sky and danced their way to the courtyard below.
Zoey finally noticed me standing there, and she glanced back at me briefly before resuming her stance at the glass.
“What are you doing?” I finally asked, my curiosity getting the better of me.