daffodils

The east wall of the break room at nancyland

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…

rescued daffodils and tulips flattened by the weather, granite slab and baby head

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.

Posted in: RI

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