Finding comfort in ‘stuff’
I opened the book and pressed my nose up against the fading, tea-coloured pages.
“Smell that, Libby,” I said. “There’s nothing like the scent of an old book.”
My nan kept a lot of books that her kids (including my dad) read in the 60s and 70s.
She passed many to me when I was little – lots of Enid Blyton, original Golden Books and May Gibbs.
And when Libby and Jonah were born, she managed to dig out a few more classics for them.
As I read to Libby from Scotty in Gumnut Land last night, I realised there is some comfort to be found in ‘things.’
In recent years I’ve grown increasingly conscious of consuming too much. News about sweat shops in Bangladesh, Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff and the 1 Million Women campaign have all had an impact on making me less materialistic and more eco-conscious.
I look around my house, however, and feel a wave of emotions when it comes to particular ‘things.’
I decided Libby and Jonah might like to learn, so we hired a tuner. As he ran his fingers over the hammers, he told me it was built in the 1890s.
“They don’t make them like this anymore,” he said. “You’ll get many years out of it, yet.”
The thought of my children playing an instrument their great grandparents once enjoyed makes my heart sing.
In the kitchen, I see my mother-in-law’s cookie jar on top of the refrigerator. She bought it before she had any grandchildren, but knew it would be a treasured vessel to hold her homemade treats one day.
She’s no longer with us, but every time Libby or Jonah reaches into the jar they will be reminded of their beloved nanna.
And in the kids’ rooms, I’ve started memory boxes for the both of them. I sobbed as I folded tiny booties, hats and fancy outfits I couldn’t bear to pass on to pregnant friends or charity.
I hope that my grandchildren may one day wear the same precious clothes and bring more tears to my eyes.
I’m no hoarder, but there is some ‘stuff’ that will always be a part of our home and our stories.
Decades from now, I wonder if Libby and Jonah will find the same pleasure with the waft that comes from opening an old book.
Maybe it will be one written by their own mum.
– Linking with Sunshine Sundays and Zanni Louise.