Unpacking Boxes


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I head downstairs with my coffee in hand, fire crackling in the fireplace, ready to face the disorganization in this blank canvas of space. I unpack one box and stand there for 5 minutes, staring and contemplating its contents. It’s a big responsibility to sift through what looks like junk or even trash to me, but may very well be the treasures and creations of little hands. I can understand how they feel, as I myself often vacillate between project junkie and a “get-all-this-stuff-out-of-my-sight-before-I-have-a-melt-down!” state of mind. So, I make piles for them to sort through, binders to store favorite pieces of artwork, sneak some things away, hoping they’ll never remember and ask me what I did with that one. When I get to the bottom of the box, seems like every one, a moment of nostalgia hits me. I find crumbled pinecones and I take a sharp breath in. The mountains. I sit down and swallow the sudden lump in my throat. What a love hate I had with my life in the mountains. In such a whirlwind I was thrown into that old house, alone with the kids to suddenly wait. Wait for what? Who knows. Wait to adjust, to get my mountain legs under me, to catch my breath from the change in altitude. Or to be eaten by a mountain lion (which I really did cry over one night). All of those things came in time. And it was the walk that was so slow and sometimes treacherous that became so bitterly sweet. My best friend finding herself and letting her heart heal, while living in our basement, driving our kids school bus through the switchbacks and snow. She was so close to me, but so far away. Just downstairs. Finding my creative voice with the help of an unlikely match: friend and employer and inspirer in one package. I miss her. I miss the shop. The smells. That’s probably a whole nother story. Is ‘nother’ a word or did I make that up?

The song on Pandora changes & I’m brought back the crumbled pinecones. Sigh…unpacking these boxes. One at a time. Now I hear my angel baby’s voice…mummummmumm…” and my coffee is cold. Dang it.

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