Its shiny, chipped, and cool from the musty end-of-winter soil. I don’t remember why it was in that soggy box in the woods. I probably never knew, but I don’t remember if I did or not. I remember that my dad held my kindergarten hand as we made our way through the thawing mounds of last year’s weeds and field grass. Under the huge oak tree we found a wet cardboard box. I called the oak an upside-down-spider-tree because it had daddy long legs reaching for the sky. The box was full of Grandma’s Christmas ornaments and maybe a few creepy crawlies that had wintered along beside it. Dad’s mom passed away the year before. Had he taken this box out here then? I was old enough to know that that wasn’t normal, and I knew better than to ask. Some things just are a mystery. Whatever ritual I had been brought along to witness imbued the contents of that soggy cardboard with magic that I still feel today. Out in the field, Dad and I picked through the ornaments and brought the unbroken ones home. We packed them alongside the normal decorations and stored them safely in the basement. I am the only living person who knows which are which. I can still smell the spring earth on them, feel the reverence, and unease.
(Story from Roxborough)