i have collections.
photos and poems in brittle envelopes. records of joyful times and bright shining moments. memories of how my heart spoke then—what mattered most. stacked between letters of love and goodbye, they keep.
stuffed animals crowded on to shelves in my daughters room. used-to-be-white puppies i tucked my heavy homesick heart into at night. bears that carried funny names and hearts of loved ones with me on my travels.
boxes of young love, the kind that seems bigger than your world and only ever sweet to the taste. the kind you can’t imagine the end of when you are standing in the middle.
music made for me. a familiar growing up feel in my hands. the less clear sound of earlier times. memories of a once love now listening to the sounds of heaven.
hand held tokens of paths i might have taken. places i stood and claimed as mine. when what was closest was where i wanted to belong.
i have collections.
collections that are postcards my fingers drift over to taking me back.
collections gladly passed on. with this-meant-a-lot-to-me-because. children tug them down for play and sometimes ask for the story secreted in their stuffing.
collections i keep knowing they were lived out to done. i am not ready for the free of dust space left behind. not wanting to give up witness to a past good and full.
collections titled forever. for lives remembered. saved for the telling of how my heart was made more by paths crossing.
collections for when i am unhappy with now. when make believe seems brighter but leaves me emptier for the wondering. these i donate to god’s will slowly. ones that were beautiful and good and true, but not mine to keep.
i am discovering free to give away. there is no shortage in this further than i can see life.
sometimes my collection is made new. re-gifted and reshaped for here and now’s best fit. but even when i dust empty spaces, i find contentment has been placed there.