Thursday, October 29, 2009

like a baby left on a doorstep

This morning I received an anonymous gift, left with a note, "to Doug Stowe" on the doorstep of the annex of our Carnegie Library. It was left sometime yesterday and then brought home to me by my wife, Jean. The "baby" is a collection of wood, probably from someone's father or grandfather with penciled and typed notes on yellowed parchment.

Surely, the local wood guy would know what to do with a once treasured collection, but I am still waiting to learn more of the story. Who was this person who loved wood and felt compelled to collect and take notes? At one time, it could have been anyone. People used collections of things to connect with areas of deep interest. Our forests and the interesting and beautiful woods that came from them was an area of wide and compelling interest. You wouldn't just cut things and stick them in a box. You would handle things and feel deeply what they were and how they came into your life and the reality they represented. Can you handle the larch without the spotted owl flying through your thoughts on the same wing?

Recently, when James Krenov died, his daughter told that he kept a small box of wood under his bed. He would frequently caress a piece of sandalwood, the scent and feel of which was a talisman, connecting him with things about which those in attendance at his deathbed might only dream.

And so, this morning, I received a precious gift. The meaning of which I may in time come to understand. It is a small collection of wood.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:58 PM

    Like stuff we use to find running through field and forest. Bring it home, putting it in a shoebox then sticking under our bed or in the closet for examination when the parents were not looking.

    Excellent post, made me get butterflies.
    Scrap Wood