With my husband away doing chores up at the cabin last weekend, I spent numerous hours sorting through everything in our storage room, deciding what to keep, donate, recycle or toss. Much of the work was fairly easy since we've only lived in this home for 6 1/2 years.
A bag containing knitting needles and wool, along with the abandoned notion of ever becoming a decent knitter - donate to a friend. The contents of a binder filled with training information for my volunteer position during the 2010 Olympics - recycle. Cake platter, vases, picture frames, artificial flowers, dishes, and numerous knickknacks - donate to charity. Broken stemware - toss. My mother's Danish-designed casserole dishes, gravy boat and coffee cups, all in mint condition, along with my Oma's soup tureen - relocate to kitchen for daily use.
When I reached the bottom shelf, I pulled out the box labelled 'Michael's stuff', along with his black 'The Orchard on Bowen' satchel. I carried both inside the house with the intention of revisiting them later that evening, not wanting to distract myself from the task at hand. However, my curiosity soon won out so I opened up the satchel and began flipping through the handouts and scanning the notes he had made during his time in rehab. After a few minutes, I remembered that I had read all of this shortly after he died. It was difficult to reread and I knew I needed to set it aside for now, otherwise I would get pulled too deeply into the sadness.
Returning to the storage room, the next box I tackled was filled with decorative items I had collected over many, many years but no longer displayed or used. Among other things, I found a genie lamp, miniature red book with each page containing the words I love you in more than 30 languages, quartz crystals, red glass heart, as well as a green stone one. What a beautiful surprise. I vaguely recognized some of the items but have no recollection where any of them came from. It was as if the universe was taking this moment to show me some tangible representations of love that has been, and continues to be, present in my life. I gifted the genie lamp to my granddaughter, a crystal to my grandson, and placed the remaining items into the dedicated silver bowl in my den, alongside the many other love tokens already there.
The following morning, I took advantage of the beautiful weather and walked along seawall in West Vancouver. Midway along the route, I glanced over at the tiny park tucked in off the path and stopped in my tracks. Someone had taken the time to rake the fall leaves into the shape of a gorgeous heart. Love, love, love ...