I have a china cabinet in the dining room. A few years back I picked it up at a barn sale for just about a steal, and ever since it has held my grandmothers rose decorated china. When we packed up and nearly moved, it's contents were carefully wrapped and placed safely into boxes. When plans fell through, and the universe showed us that staying was the path, I left the fine china packed. I didn't want to undo the bubble wrap and remove all the paper. So I left it. For now. Which also, left the china closet empty. For weeks. Okay, maybe a month. Until Friday... when cleaning the house I decided that all of my little collected things belonged atop the cabinet's mahogany shelves.
Item by item I laid them down upon the shiny wood. Moved about, rearranged, and lovingly settled into each settled spot. The completion of putting everything into one cabinet, seemed so right and fullfilled my heart to no end. What we have now is a display that resembles more of a curiosity cabinet in a museum than your average dining room set up.
It's contents are now that of old skeleton and clock keys, my grandmothers platters including the one my mom said they used every Thanksgiving. Next to the rocks I've found and the quartz I have discovered on family hikes are antique locks purchased in Connecticut (our favorite run away place) and glass bottles ascertained from my favorite antique shop (Any Old Thing) and the woods of our backyard. The three shelves cradle birds nests, quail's eggs, and a vintage watercolor set. There's an arcitects tool kit opened wide and to it's left a barnacled shell plucked off the beach. This is my collection. The things that I am most attracted to. I never know what will catch my eye or why, but they do... and I bring them home.
It's now a comfort for me to know every little happy item has a safe place where it won't break, drop, or be distrubed by toddler fingers.
I don't collect because it's a hobby, or that I'm on a mission to have every kind of a certain thing. It's almost like I'm obtaining an article from a life I lived before this one or even longer ago. Maybe I'm just a fairy girl deeply fixated on and attracted to all things nature, rusted or glass, and slightly worn. I suppose my things look a lot like which Tinkerbell might have had in her house.
Whatever it may be, surrounding myself with what I love makes me feel... well, whole.