27 October 2011

Honeymoon Cabin

I have something special of mine to share today, and it comes with, as with all things worth sharing, a bit of a story.

There are people who come into your life and then are a part of it from then on, like streams flowing into a river that flows into the sea.  And there are things like that too, at least for me. The little book you see above is actually both.

When I was single and living in Seattle, in the throes of my quarter-century ordeals, I used to wander around junk shops to pass the time on lonely Saturday afternoons (pass the time? having time? what was that like?). It was a comfort activity, something I often did with my family growing up, an activity that felt sure.  I feel confident that in a junk store - as long as it is not too junky - I will find a treasure, a moment of beauty.  Maybe I'll buy it, maybe not, but I almost always see something interesting, full of history and time.

I imagine that on the day I found this little photo book, it was raining, and I was in Ballard, a neighborhood in Seattle, roaming around with my heart in my stomach, berating myself for not doing the right things, for not knowing who I was.  Oh, those were the days.

But on this particular day, I found something unexpected. Along with something beautiful to look at and touch, I found two new people, and they have been with me ever since.

It would be kind of strange to call them 'friends,' but that's what they feel like. I found their beautiful love book in a drawer full of old postcards. I bought it for $5 and felt like a thief.

The book is a love story, seeming to have been made by him and given to her.  It tells the story of two people who were in love for a long time, and then finally able to be together, and how glad this made them both. You can see in each picture how they delighted in each other, how much fun they had together; the photos show the timelessness of true connection.

I don't know their names or where they lived, but their little book has traveled with me through many moves and life changes. I bring it out sometimes when we have people over, when the night has reached a time for sharing.

K. and I look at the book and wonder "Where are they in this photo?", "Who do you think that is?"  He said the other day that it was too bad that they didn't write down more details about the photos, but I think that just adds to the mystery.   Besides, they didn't need to, because when it was made, the only people who mattered already knew.

Their story has inspired me over the years many times.   I see in them the love, friendship, and constancy I now know to be a part of long-term togetherness.  I hope that their extended courtship led to a long, happy life together.  Little did they know that their memento would add so much to someone else's life.  I hope you enjoy it, too.
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