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Measure of a Man


Rummaging through junk, I rediscover hidden treasure. Time and distance put fresh perspective into meaning. An antique chest of drawers once belonged to my grandfather. It had secret compartments and a pullout desk, to store his important things. His rubber coin purse that gobbled up change, never to be seen again. Papers, letters and pencils filled the now empty spots. I was sure they were awfully important. I thought that chest of drawers was thrown out when he died, along with the rest of his belongings. I was ten, didn’t think twice, grown-ups dealt with grown-up stuff. Imagine my surprise, when I found that chest in the attic, in plain sight. Must have past it a thousand times. My heart was overjoyed with happy. I could see his gold tooth grin, horn rimmed glasses, smiling down on me. He was a gentleman giant, 6 foot something, wore dress slacks, lace up shoes and button down cardigans. I had to crick my neck to look up at him, the silver head of hair a frame of reference. Who knew I would grow up, try a gazillion different things, live a million lives, only to come home again. Who knew, I didn’t. I took it as a sign; I’m superstitious like that. Despite the endless questions, relentless worry, I might be in the right place, right time. Signals, lost moments are funny things, they come out of nowhere and disappear back into the land of lost dreams. Gotta hold tight, to conviction. I tried hard to force the who, what, how or where I’m supposed to be. Too hard, I suppose. The best pieces might need some light dusting, bit of polish, little elbow grease. Inside solid, cherry red oak new opportunity lies waiting. Love, and an old wooden desk are the structured, knotty pine memories that tell the stories.


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