The Little Box
I was helping a dear friend and her sister with their late father's mementos the other day, going through photos, tapes and scrapbooks, looking for items that I could make copies of for them. It was a bittersweet party, each of us has good memories of him, and seeing pictures of him as he changed through the years was, by turns, funny, poignant, and sad.
There was a small box in with these mementos, perhaps it held a set of earrings or a tie tack at one time. His name was scrawled on the bottom of it, along with that of this boyhood hometown. As I opened it I saw a tiny velvet bag inside. I overturned the bag into my palm and a small glass marble rolled out. I was struck with the realization that this was the distilled essence of his childhood, one marble, in a velvet bag, in a little box.