if you walk in to the house my grandfather built, you will see antiques everywhere.
as it if were not enough that he was in the saint louis symphony or that he built the grand house with his own two hands, what made my grandpa such an interesting person were the beauties he filled his house with.
when i was a kid, it was all very normal for me. right next to our dinner table was a butter churner, above the fireplace were some old muskets. the kitchen was lined with endless amounts of tins and signs and coffee cans. every room was covered in beautiful persian-like carpets and ornate lighting fixtures. stuffed buffalo and elk hung on the brick walls and their library was filled, floor to ceiling, with timeless works by shakespeare and longfellow and frost. even when we played, we played with an old parcheesi board game or a box of little green soldiers. every other weekend i would visit my dad, who lived with my grandparents, and i was surrounded with history.
it wasn’t until my high school years that i started appreciating the richness of everything around me. i began to ask how things worked and what they were used for and what they were worth. i read so many of the books in the library and spent some time in the garage, navigating my way through a sea of furniture and wall hangings.
to this day there is something intriguing to me about things past. i am a huge fan of old black and white movies and beautiful music by people like billie holiday and elvis presley. one of my favorite shows to watch is the antique road show. and every now and again, having some extra spending money, i find myself lost in a store somewhere that looks not unlike what my grandparents left behind.
there is something beautiful about the past. in it lies the allure of precious memories, perhaps once forgotten, that motivate us to love deeper and listen more and learn to be still. there is something innocent and pure about much of the past, when people were less advanced in knowledge but lived more simply and richly.
still, there is much to be said about learning from the pain and the difficulty of every horrible yesterday. not everything from the past is wonderful. most important, however attractive the past may seem, is this very second. i have to choose, almost daily, to use the past as an inspiring springboard in to rebirth and creativity and wisdom. the hope of tomorrow pulls me in as i discover which parts of my past are meant to be preserved and unearthed and which are meant to be left behind.