Why do song lyrics touch so many hearts? Why do poems speak to our core about an array of emotions? Why are some movies or books so profound to so many?
It is because as human beings we have far more in common than we care to admit. No matter our culture, race, affluence or lack of – we all know what pain feels like, what joy feels like. We have all been loved, we have all been rejected. We have all felt the sting of unfair circumstance or the surreal giddiness of magical serendipity.
We are more one than many on this human path, one we trod together – shoulder to shoulder or connected by some mysterious commonality through the centuries.
This universality of the human experience is one of the reasons I feel so drawn to antiques and why I prefer to be surrounded by the remnants of these untold human stories. The secrets behind these objects that graced the existences of days, and people, gone by brings me wonder and somehow comfort. The people who owned them were once as alive as I am. And they are gone now, as I, too, will someday be. There is no morbidity in this understanding, for I believe all these relics ground me in a simple truth, and that is a connection to the past that gives the present both purpose and context.
My antique collection is not only a quiet nod that honors those who were here before me but also a reverent understanding of my own mortality and how our material surroundings provide nothing more than a backdrop to our own stories.
I took a few pictures of the antiques that grace my home along with my wondering and musings. Who were their former owners? What stories played out in their midst?
As you can see, I do a lot of musings about the lives these objects touched and the statements they make about human history.
My final picture above has one last item in it that I actually know the story about – the Funk and Wagnalls wildlife encyclopedias. For you see, the person who purchased them from a door to door salesman back in 1977 was my mother. He convinced her that her children absolutely needed a set of these encyclopedias. Every child needed to be well versed in the animals of the world. From ant eaters to zebras, her kids would surely do far better in school with access to these phenomenal resources.
And so I know well the little girl who poured over the pages about baby otters and the red stags of the English isles – she was me. Before information was just a Google away, it resided on a bookshelf at the base of a roll top desk in books that I would spend hours paging through.
But someday I’ll be gone. And these books will just be books that someone uses as a great vintage accent piece to add texture and interest to their room. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll wonder about the story behind them now and again? And feel just as connected to the mystery of the human journey as I do.
Peace, Joy & Blessings,
“You shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you and your household.” — Deuteronomy 26:11