It was the sound of an ending that lured me outside, the little girl on the big rope swing, her voice making a long “oOOOOooooOOOOoooo” across the yards.

Or perhaps it was the hum of a small plane directly overhead that drew me out from hours of scavenging in the basement again, bin by bin, book by book, some of their spines wavy with age, dense Russian novels I never even tried to stumble through without, or sometimes even with, side-by-side translations, inscriptions I can finally part with, and the ones I won’t, separating piles, like I do when the girls’ dresser drawers are overflowing — yes, no, give away — pausing over some, wondering why I have kept this or that though a dozen moves and storage spaces, carrying with me the weight of my life in paper.

My children will not wish I had preserved my past but theirs. And now, as the first buds peek out before their time, in danger of freezing but undeterred, I see that the days of preservation are nearing their end, that this is the ending that called me to begin again in a voice that carries its long “O” across the years.

I no longer worry about whether it will be lost or sustained and think instead it will simply join a greater cacophony of a life not recorded, but lived.

One thought on “Scavenging

  1. Dawn says:

    I am not so sure about your childrens’ future interests. Keep the diaries, the notes, the records, report cards, the signs of you. They will want to keep those forever.

    Thank you for your wonderful writing. It always makes me feel full (of life)!



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