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Sentimental me

Those who know me know it is a flaw I carry. Sentimentality is not a horrible thing, but it can clutter your house quickly. It has been a slow process selecting the core objects I wish to keep from my parents and which to let go. At first, after my mother died 7 years after my father, I sobbingly clung to All The Things! It was an easy thing to do since I was living in a different house and not the one I am in now which is the one I grew up in. Time, and moving in here and needing to fit all of our things made it time to start clearing out. (There is still far too much here, but I slowly go through again and again, whittling the pile instead of taking a machete to it.)

We kept most of the furniture that was here, adding in pieces of our own, and left our furniture over at the other house. It is an odd mix of no particular style because of that, but I am okay with odd and mismatched because seen in total it is very much me. So, those are the usual areas of sentiment that I see myself playing out day-to-day.

A couple of surprising ones cropped up recently. One of my very fond memories of my dad when I was little was his birding hobby. He used to point out all the native birds, call my attention to their song, repeatedly, so I could know them even when hidden in the leaves. Somewhere as I grew he switched his teaching more to my brother (father/son thing? his dad had taught him) and I admit to have lost some sound recognition compared to visual recognition. One I couldn't forget would be the chick-a-dee because my dad had pointed out they were easy because they sang their name: chik!-a-dee-dee-dee-dee, chik!-a-dee-dee-dee-dee.

Another bird endearing to my dad was the bald eagle. As a bird in general, as the national bird, as a thing popular in early American decor. My parents did their house in early American. I had learned to dislike EA decor and now have swung back to appreciating it mixed with other things. There were eagles everywhere in here growing up. No stuffed ones or like that, but towel holders, mirrors, switchplates, and picture hangers had them in wee bronze replicas at their tops.

In the present here in Pittsburgh we have a bald eagle couple that just hatched 3 eaglets. They had returned to last year's nest where they had birthed one eaglet. There was again a camera set up by the game commission to watch the hatchings. I had missed the first 2, but was determined to see the third even though it meant being tied to my laptop on Wednesday. And see it I did. I was so very tickled. And I felt the touch of my dad's spirit. I realized that the ugly mirror that hangs in the front bedroom with the eagle atop it that I can't bear to part with lives there for a reason. Same with the 2 or 3 switchplates and the towel holder in the kitchen. I never would have chosen them, but they are a connection to my parents that I can't yet (if ever) get rid of. So, core objects they have become.

When I watched the eaglet hatching and connected it to the eagle decorations here and my dad's love of birds another connection jumped into my mind. A couple of weeks ago when the witches were here one looked out the kitchen window as we were talking and said, "You don't have a garden." (The context was apt.) I saw where her eyes went out the window. It was to this:

 
 


And I saw it the way she did. An unused neglected piece of the yard which this winter had ravaged to the point of "mess". Now, it has been looking neglected before this winter, but spring through autumn it is filled with wildflowers that make me happy and has stopped me from doing anything to it. But with the seeing through her eyes I realized another thing - when I look at it, I see so much more than is really there even when it is filled with wildflowers. This is what I see when my gaze falls there:


 

 
 
I see my wedding. In my parents' back yard. With them alive and happy back in the year of 1990. I see planters overstuffed with flowers and the promise of a lifetime of love surrounded by friends and family. I can smell the flowers and the trees and the air in my memory. I can hear the birds and insects that were the only music to our ceremony. I am swept backwards, wrapped in Love, and planted in that September day in a way the photos cannot prompt. And it is ~bliss~.

Eventually that neglected patch will be taken over by the grass surrounding it. When I first saw it a couple of weeks ago through someone else's eyes with the disintegration more prominent after this hard winter's snow had melted I thought for a moment I should finish that process. Then I looked again and realized what I saw there. I was transported back to that day. I realized I have no desire to hurry that process.

Sentimental me.

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