At times I’m not quite sure what it is about an object that catches a persons eye – the same could be said of myself and some of the things that have attracted me.
The above is a case in point found not by me but the gatherers at a thrift store.
Sure it’s “cute” and all that, the bear is even cool with his sunglasses.
Wind the bottle cap and it plays a little tune while the bear twirls around, maybe like those McDonald’s Happy Meal toys it will one day become a collectible.
In the interim after having watched the bear “dance” a handful of times it rests on a shelf now, the novelty having subsided.
Not all things need to be utilitarian in nature though, it is enough if they cause a smile or a moments laughter.
I’m even more intrigued by what little ones will collect, what their imagination may see in it. Is it merely a novelty they’ve happened upon, a color or form that intrigues them, or is it more specific?
By the time they’re three or four they can relate these things in some detail to you – sometimes it’s just pretty or feels good in their hand, a thought difficult to convey to the resident hounds when presented to them to examine
A sniff or two, a little pawing, and maybe even a sampling to see if it’s edible and that’s about it – other than that they’re like uh huh, and what am I to do with this?
The more mischievious of the three at times will take it to be a game of keep away, snatching it in her mouth to be chased around amid a chorus of laughter – mischievious enough to drop it as an enticement and then snatch it up again when fellow game players draw near.
Perhaps in some instances this game of keep away was envisioned when the object was first discovered, as following such a game the “find” will be forgotten, other times it is saved in a box along with it’s kindred to be held and marveled over anew countless times.
More notable discoveries such as the decayed remains of field mouse showing more bones than anything else fail to receive the good housekeeping seal of approval by those with an eye to what does or doesn’t cross the threshold, and that seems to be acceptable to the discoverers who familiar with the routine are obliged to put it back where they found it and wash their hands.
They understand when it is explained that the purpose of doing so is to allow a return to the mother from which all things ultimately spring.
That in the return the land will provide nourishment for others. That perhaps their relatives consider where they lay to be sacred ground and respect should be shown for that.
Feathers are a different story, they aren’t just haphazardly strewn about, they are gifted, something for curious little ones to happen upon, and as gifts worth keeping, respecting, and displaying, maybe even embellishing pow wow regalia with.
I once saw a child whose namesake is the hawk sit intently watching one in a nearby tree, so captivated was this child he took my hand wanting to draw nearer for a closer look – I lifted him to sit upon my shoulders and as we stood under the tree looking up the hawk looked back for a minute or two, spoke to this then not three year old child, then flew away dropping a feather in the departing, an undeniable gift this child retains and will carry with him throughout his life.
The circle of life, from rocks, the remains of a mouse, feathers, and our own mortality- an interwoven balance and connectivity to be understood and appreciated.
All things have their time, even a cup of coffee.
You begin with a full cup and end with an empty one. The cup can be refilled, made stronger or weaker, sweeter or bitter.
But we cannot refill the cup of our life, only pass it on to our children hoping that they partake wisely and will have reasons to dance, smile, and laugh.