With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty. It is finished in beauty."
My long-time friend Audrey sent me a beautiful tea set for Christmas, a picture of which is included to the right. The colors match my decor and it looks very nice tucked under the rack which holds our big glass coffee/tea mugs.
This gift got me started thinking about how many of the things in the Tinpalace were either gifts or were inherited from people we love.
Beginning at the front, there are framed photos of our (adult) children, our parents, and both Tony's and my grandmothers. One the table sits a tiny silver tea service. The tea pot only holds two small cupfuls of tea, so it is only useful as a decorative accent. It's dinged up, the silver is completely worn off in places and it desperately needs a good polishing so it looks a lot less loved than it actually is. It belonged to Tony's grandmother.
There's a sturdy basket Tony's mother bought when they first came to Canada in 1951. She kept it on the basement steps, filled with potatoes. It's associated with her and her kitchen, and the many meals we shared on Sunday nights.
Then there are the antique cups and saucers she gave me, one by one. Four different styles, four different color ranges, but all delicate and fit for the Queen herself, should she drop by for tea some afternoon.
There's the quilt my friend Jackie made for my birthday in January 2005, before passing away totally unexpectedly later that year. A tiny doll my friend Judy made and gave me before she passed away a year ago. A wee jointed teddy bear made by Zak a few years ago.
There's a series of three pictures of my beloved kitty Patches, which hangs at the foot of my bed, a gift from Ian.
On a shelf in the back is a a Butsudan (A Buddhist altar) which Tony made. On the altar are a prayer bowl from Zak and Mandy, a small brass bell, and a prayer cloth from my dear friend Iris.
A cloth doll my daughter-in-law made me for Christmas a few years ago and a sock monkey made for me by my sister-in-law when I was a little girl sit in a protected corner.
A silk rosebud, the favorite toy of Fred the cat, is tucked into the safety strap which keeps our 13" TV from leaping off its shelf. He loved these little silk rosebuds. He'd pull the flowers from the stems and carry them around in his mouth crooning to them until he loved them to pieces. He eventually lost interest in red rosebuds and the tattered remnants were discarded one by one. At the age of 14 he developed lymphoma and the day came when we had to take him to the vet for the last time. It was so hard to say goodbye.
The next morning I turned the corner from the hallway into our room and there he sat, sleek and healthy. He was there for only an instant before he vanished, but in his place was a silk rosebud of the kind he loved as a kitten and young cat. I cannot for the life of me say where it came from. But there it was, and I like to think it was his way of saying bye and thanks for all the tuna. Anyway, that rosebud is tucked where I can see it, a reminder of a sweet kitty.
There are shelves of books, old favorites like Wind in the Willows, The Old Man and the Boy, Lydia Bailey, I Heard the Owl Call My Name and The Shipping News jumble together with medical references and puzzle books.
Simple stuff, none of it worth more than a couple of dollars at a yard sale, but loaded with memories. When you don't have someone you love with you, next best thing is to have something they gave you, made, handled, or loved. The energy of that love fills our little space, making it the happiest 157 square foot home on earth. We walk in beauty.