Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Things We Treasure

Today's fabulous find is not a find at all, but actually a touching surprise. Unexpectedly, an old friend presented me (in multiple senses of the word 'present') with a lovely glass pedestal bowl that came from her mother's house. I have an inordinate fondness for bowls, love glass dishes in general and have a sweet attachment to previously loved items. I like things that have been around for awhile, show a little wear and tear and might just have a quirky history. (Maybe they remind me of someone?). This particular dish also boasts an embossed fruit motif - one of my favourites, especially pears. I have a few embossed fruit mismatched plates and bowls, my everyday Mikasa is decorated with a vintage fruit design and, from my mother's house, I have an amazing embossed fruit soup tureen.

There is a bittersweetness to receiving this gift. I know my friend is cleaning out her mother's home, sifting through a lifetime's collection of houseware and hardware, linens and pictures, clothes and books. Each item being washed, cleaned, sorted and allocated to someone or somewhere. She chose this pretty little bowl for me. Somewhere, at some time her mother chose this pretty little bowl for herself - or perhaps it was a gift, or something she simply picked up at a yard sale and tucked into a cupboard. It came her way somehow and now, happily, its come my way. Given by my friend, wrapped in a handmade apron and filled with unexpected treasure.

The ancient Chinese believed that the pear was a symbol of immortality. Pear trees are long-lived. In Chinese the word li means both "pear" and "separation," and for this reason, tradition says that to avoid a separation, friends and lovers should not divide pears between themselves.

1 comment:

  1. what a lovely post. I am always surprized & then a bit pleased with what I 'keep' after a big house 'weeding' (that's what I call it when I go through our place like a madwoman trying to get rid of all superluous items that are jamming up the closets and drawers.

    I might put a cashmere sweater into the giveaway box (cuz it is too small) but then not be able to part with my daugher's old camp t-shirt.
    When giving an item that you don't quite want to part with, but instead, give it to an old friend is really like keeping it. It isn't really 'gone'.
    This bowl will no doubt find new & wonderful purposes at your house.