A New Bookshelf


There are few things in life that make me feel more at home than seeing my books on a bookshelf. It wasn’t until tonight, almost 5 weeks after moving in to this little place, that I was gifted a beautiful bookshelf and was able to bring my books home. And here they are….home! Seeing them there makes me feel that this place is home, after all. So many memories, so much time is wrapped up in those books. There are 20 years of journals on one shelf, and on others are books I have had since childhood, since high school, since college, and some, of course, are new.

Tonight I spent time reconnecting with my books, saying hello to all the scraps of paper that I have held on to for all these years, carefully shoving them between book covers. I looked through some of those old journals, and found some old photographs and stacked them carefully. I noticed that they are beginning to stick together in some places.

After the bookshelf was finished and home felt like home, finally, I started making 6 geese a-laying and began to darn an old sweater, made by a grandmother years ago. I marveled at her technique, at the ease I was having in darning the holes and following the stitches she made probably 30 years ago. Holding the sweater up to my face to examine those old, tiny stitches, I caught the smell of lanolin, and wood, and wood-smoke, of linseed oil and varnish, of sawdust, and I was reminded of why my sense of smell is something I appreciate so much: the olfactory remembrance of a friend, held in his sweater.

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