Saturday, April 4, 2009

Inanimate Objects

Today as I puttered around in my kitchen I noticed the funnel that I use in canning season. It has a wide mouth that fits nicely down into the mouth of glass jars and has numerous dents and scratches on its shiny surface. It is made from aluminum, I believe, and is shiny with swirls made from cleaning it with a soapy SOS pad.

As my eyes fell on the funnel my mind drifted to my mother-in-law who used it for many years and I thought of all of the jars of applesauce laced with cinnamon and red hot candies that she had made with the help of that funnel. I remembered the taste of the applesauce and how my children had smiled when we opened a brand new jar. That memory led to another memory and then another.

That is the way it is so often around here when I glance at a picture, walk by and touch a chair, or snuggle under an afghan that once belonged to an older member of my family.

I found this short entry in a little book given to my mother-in-law by her co-workers when she had been out on sick-leave. It spoke so clearly about my thoughts this morning in the kitchen, I want to share it with you.
Inanimate Animate
"Have you ever noticed that older people tend to cling to the things that have surrounded them? We call it sentiment and scoff. Our mobile, semi-disposable society tends to treat our many possessions with little dignity. Somehow we have lost the beauty of associating an object with the things it has touched. Perhaps we need a little sentiment to give root to our lives.

A table is a
Living thing,
A part of all
It touches.

It is
A loving thing,
Caressed with
Polished pride.

A table
Senses things,
Remembers tears,
The hands of a child."

from Ironing Board Altars
Mary Ann Bohrs
Broadman Press, Nashville, Tennessee
Copyright 1969

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When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

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