Treasures and secrets

Someone asked me recently if packing up and renovating my parents house—my childhood home—was difficult for me.

Gutting my mother's bathroom and finding the old medicine chest behind the tiles
Gutting my mother’s bathroom and finding the old medicine chest behind the tiles

The answer is no. It’s healing. My parents were amazing people: busy and creative and giving and did I say busy? and their home was evidence of that. They were also both, potentially, scholars—which is a nice way of saying that they never threw anything that looked even remotely significant out. But they were also too busy really to organize that significance. So treasures keep turning up as I pack up the house (which has taken me, I think I said in another post, three years): photographs of them with the most amazing people, letters and diaries and secrets of their lives, concrete evidence of the loves they had—for each other and for my brother and me and for this country.

The "Mark Bethel" plant in bloom
The “Mark Bethel” plant in bloom

And in the garden, secret blooms that appear at different times and in different places and remind me of them again and again and again.

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