This started out to be a simple post about how the weather changed, and I got to cut some of the first flowers that the thunderstorms flattened. There had been a week of evil weather — warm, 98 percent humidity, suffocating fog — that finally resolved into gusting winds, thunder, lightning and full-on rain.
The downpours — and it took several —cleared the air and drenched the ground, and the gathering of flowers that would have otherwise been mushed felt like a just reward for enduring this oppressive climate. I rinsed the mud off and put them in a vase on the woodstove in the living room. They were so cheerful it seemed significant enough to document with a few photos.
When I looked at the pictures a few days later, my first response was: this looks like the room of a crazy person. I don’t know why I thought this. Then I thought: this needs an infographic. Because every single object has a history, tells a story, and all are meaningful. There are the letter “N”s, gifts from my beloved husband; the blown glass pear from my baby girl; a lime-colored enameled rock Jane brought back from India? or London; the beaded bird from Suz; a mermaid bottle opener from Claudia; the pre-production supermaster mold of a popular doll from the ‘80s, the really heavy slab of granite Mr Speed carried out from a quarry we discovered on a walk…
But this is about the daffodils. The flowers are beautiful, worthy enough of focus. And yet, looking at them in the context of an object in a setting, well, I see how important stories are. I see the slab of granite and I remember the walk, the big striped feather we found, the hidden quarry, the sense of adventure and exploration, and the fortitude of my husband carrying back a ridiculously heavy rock because I said I liked it. Mementos. Reminders. Bits and pieces of our lives, kept and displayed, because of the stories they hold.
That day, as I ate my lunch in the break room, my living room, I was looking at the daffodils, enjoying their pure expression of yellow, their pleasant, heady scent, the fact that the weather had changed to something glorious. Looking at the photograph, I notice all the objects sort of equally, each one a little doorway to a another time and place. I feel a bit like a Myna gathering shinies, or one of those bowerbirds that decorates with only blue-colored items. Sometimes, all these things I’ve gathered and carry with me feel like a burden, especially when it comes time to move. But today, they make me happy.