Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Mountains On My Mind: Navel-Gazing #1

Friends, I've had a few shocks to the system in the last couple of days. If you see me through it, "The Gods Are Bored" will return, I promise.

Apparently my beloved grandfather wanted me to have a box of his possessions. I say "apparently," because my daughter The Heir retrieved the box quite by serendipity from a crawlspace under the oldest section of the family farm.

The box was literally crusted with mold. Heir only peeked inside it before shoving it into a sack. She brought it home because it had pins in it. Heir loves pins.

These aren't just pins, though. They are my grandfather's life.

Items: Red Cross volunteer pins from the Second World War.

Items: Two rings, Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

Items: Twelve "one hundred percent attendance" pins from the Lions Club.

Items: Anniversary of service pins from the American Celanese Corporation -- 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 35 years, 40 years, 45 years.

Items: "Perfect Safety Record" pins from the American Celanese Corporation -- 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, 30 years, 35 years, 40 years, 45 years.

Item: Retirement tie tack, American Celanese Corporation.

Item: A bracelet with ten round coins, each bearing one of the Ten Commandments.

Items: Four pins, "Jesus Is Lord."

Items: A white Celtic cross with Latin inscription and a pin with a white knight and black knight in profile ... affiliation unknown.

Items: Bicentennial souvenirs.

Items: Cufflinks with initials DWJ.

Items: Tietacks with initials DWJ.

Item: Garden Club citation of merit. (That might have been Grandma's.)

Items: More than 25 Lions Club pins, including a large anniversary pin from the Virginia Lions Club.

Today, while the Heir was at a doctor's appointment, I sat on the Main Street of my borough and took stock of the contents of the box. I shared a bench with a merchant who had come out of his shop to smoke a cigar. The merchant was a man of few words, but he was interested in the contents of the box. And he chuckled after I'd emptied it, when I said that this was the moment when I would pull out the padding to find $10,000 or a hand-written and signed copy of the Declaration of Independence.

No money appeared, nor did any historic document. Nor did I care.

When you are a little girl, and you place your trust and devotion upon a person who deserves both, you grow up feeling rock, and not sand, under your feet. When you are teetering on the edge between Matron and Cailleach, and this person's badges of honor fall into your possession, you understand how magick works, how its power rips through people and circumstances to bind a loved one to the grateful granddaughter who will bring his heritage into a new century.

Granddad, may I be worthy of that which is given.

8 comments:

Celestite said...

What a wonderful legacay, badges of honor indeed.

Sarita said...

Oh wow.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

There are no accidents and no coincidences, they say!

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

isn't that just the most remarkable thing?..i think it was not an accident that she found them...wonder what else is up there?

Pom said...

Such an incredible gift! I can imagine how that must have felt. I bawled like a baby when I opened a package from my grandfather's house (he passed last June) and it contained his key-ring that I'd asked for and a rubber gun for shooting ping pong balls. In the midst of everyone trying to divide things up equally by monetary value, I just hold my key-ring and shake my head.

Linda said...

I wonder why it let itself be found now? How neat!

Yvonne Rathbone said...

I got this quote in an email just after reading your blog:

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

(Those of us who hang out with Bored Gods can substitute magic for miracle.)

You grandfather sounds like an amazing man.

Pandora said...

Oh, lovely. Blessings on all.

Clearly it was for you; and just as clearly, it is someday for the Heir.

A wonderful box.