“When I look in the mirror, I try not to see myself becoming wrinkled with age. Instead, I try to envision myself as acquiring a beautiful patina which only appears with time.” ~ Unknown
I believe we can safely assume that I have an innate fondness for old things. Furniture, clothing, homes, my recycled sari skirts are just a few examples. An acquaintance recently made a comment specifically about the skirts and the words struck a chord in me.
” . . . one has definitely been well used. I like that. A patina of another woman’s life.” ~ Andrea Jones
Apparently the words resonated with several women due to the comments she received. For the last few days, I’ve been pondering those words. My father lived in an older section of Independence, Missouri when I was a teen. Driving to his house on the rare occasion, we would pass thru historical sections with old houses (which were already intensely fascinating to me by this age). I can remember my step-mother and I discussing the history that may have occurred in those homes and “if only the walls could talk.”
As I wear my skirts, I wonder what occasions they’ve seen – joyous, mundane, or painful. I wonder about the women that wore them prior to myself – what they were like, their age, their experiences, whether they had young children that played in the folds, or whether they were older with children grown.
It’s the same with the houses – I walk thru on the original hardwood floors, contemplating who walked here in years past. Who touched the wooden railings, perhaps carried sleeping children up the stairs to put them to bed? What scenes have played out behind the original windows with their cotton candy glass panes?
Antique furniture raises even more questions. I wonder where it was purchased and by whom? Whether it has traveled far from it’s origination? Was it a gift? Who else lovingly ran their hands over the surfaces? What did they see when they looked in the mirrors?
I firmly blame such movies as “Somewhere in Time” or “The Love Letter” or even “Bridges of Madison County” for my fascination with how lives will affect other lives throughout time. It doesn’t have to be a life of infamy, just the routine life of an Iowa housewife whose family learned new things about her after she passed. I wonder what my children will learn about me, for they don’t know everything. I only hope they can take joy in some of the things they learn.