Thursday, May 09, 2013
China, Marbles, and Memories
Our house was built in 1941. The tag on the plates in the antique shop said they were from 1941. I had been wanting some of these plates for years, and the price was better than many I had looked at over the past decade. It seemed meant to be, so I bought four of them.
I love them because they are beautiful. I love them because they are hand painted and simple. I love them because they are old. I love them because they are Franciscan.
And I love this picture because if you look closely, you can see one of my other favorite dishes in the reflection, upside down! I did not notice that when I was pressing the button on the camera!
In one photo, I am amazed at how much love I see. The wooden dish rack belonged to Grandmother. The plate reminds me of the love of St. Francis. The bowl reflected on the plate was a gift of love from my friend Carolyn, and was made in Italy, a country I love terribly much.
And even the little marble in the dish in the window has special memories of love. A few years after Grandmother's death, I was visiting the woman who now lives in her house. This woman's grandchild was playing in the room, and his toy car or ball or something rolled into the fireplace. When she (or I? I don't recall) went to retrieve the toy, looking into the far recesses of the fireplace, we found this marble. She was surprised and said they had never had any marbles since moving into the house. I said Grandmother kept marbles in this room, and they were played with quite a few years back.
So she gave the marble to me, and I treasure it as a reminder of my own childhood and the childhoods of cousins, nieces, and nephews who played in that living room over the span of decades.
Since 1941, in fact, because their house was built the same year as the one we now live in.
It pays to look closely. You perceive more love when you look closely. As Dostoevski wrote, "Love all God's creation, the whole and every grain of sand in it. Love every leaf, every ray of God's light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend it better every day."