Native Writes: Finding myself


The young woman was sitting in a yoga position on a mountain rock as I approached.

“What’s happening?” I asked.

“I’m in search of myself,” she replied.

I said sitting on a rock never did it for me, but going through my purse and junk drawer certainly did.

She blinked and stared at me with eyes as blue as the sky above us.

Entranced with her inner search, she wasn’t interested, but I must share it somewhere.

At home, I pulled out the drawer and dumped it on a newspaper-covered sofa.

The memories rolled out.

A little toy car belonging to a toddler grandson who wept at the loss of a wheel and believed I could fix it. Super glue and a button failed and I tossed it in the drawer waiting for another of his cars to break so I could “part it out.”

When my grandson came by, I offered him the car, thinking he might want it. He sniffed and pulled out his latest Rubik’s Cube. “Those cars are for babies.”

Two little pink plastic hair clips reminded me of a school program one spring when my red-haired granddaughter wanted something bright and shiny. She hated them and they went into the drawer, waiting for when she decided to like them.

A tattered clarinet reed brought tears to my eyes. My eldest granddaughter left it there to remind me that I needed to go to Lightshine Music and get just that kind.

My oldest son played saxophone when he was her age and left the same sort of reminders, though my trip had to be to Mead’s Music.

A dried up glue stick reminded me of crafts with the grandkids, making items for a school “market.” The grandson made picture frames from colored Popsicle sticks. He wanted Ojos de Dios the next year and his mom and I wound what seemed like miles and miles of yarn around the same sort of sticks. I kept one and it’s on my kitchen wall, along with a “Mini Moose” wall hanging my son made the Christmas after my grandson was born. The three tiny handprints along the bottom bring tears to my eyes.

My search for self unearthed the fact that children and grandchildren are our guarantee of immortality. They can’t remain small forever and grandma will spend many afternoons with her memories.

Stubs of crayons, a couple of small spools of thread, some copper wire, a knife handle without a blade, a sharp X-Acto knife wrapped in cardboard, away from curious little hands, several different brands of instant glue, a laser light for the cats, minus its batteries, so many things saved “for later.”

I thought of my friend on the rock and hoped she learned the value of each moment.

Yesterday, I cleaned my purse again and found myself.

I pulled out a two-year-old planner that has my passwords and account numbers written on its pages. Why get a new one and rewrite all that? A paycheck stub was in the very bottom and was also a note pad, with a scrawled name and phone number on the bottom. Memo to self: Put it where you can find it.

A small pair of scissors and some needle nosed pliers. You never know when they might come in handy.

My drawer is filled with sentiment and my purse is home to reality.

When I’m gone and the children go through my things, they will finally find me.

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