I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things over the last five years. Things that took me decades to accumulate. Things I loved. Things I inherited.
The big dump – or shall I say, clearing – happened when I left my home in Picabo, Idaho. I really loved that house. Had kinda hoped I’d always be able to keep it. But three bedrooms and a large yard is a lot of maintenance.
Having spent a decade grounding myself to that place, I was ready to be lighter. To see if I could find and create home somewhere new, (somewhere warmer), somewhere devoid of so much stuff.
So, three years ago, I sold my house and most of my belongings. After that clearing, everything I owned was able to fit into a 10’x10’ storage locker. With room for me to sit on a chair and read if I wished. Not that I would, (read in a storage locker), I just liked the idea.
Occasionally I think of items I let go and I miss them. Not enough to wish I had them. But enough to think of them fondly.
Sometimes I’m surprised by the things that I kept. Mostly because I didn’t know what to do with them. Too precious to simply toss and too obscure for most folks to want. Like my father’s three-volume replica of the Gutenberg Bible. Not the colored version that sold for $2,295 in the 1980s, this one is black and white, worth maybe two or three hundred on eBay. You can’t read it, as it’s written in old script Latin. I can’t read Latin, can you?
Recently, during spring cleaning, I came across the Hummel figurine my mother bought me when my folks visited Germany in 1971. It’s authentic, with the official bumble bee stamp of W. Goebel, which, at that time, also included “W. Germany” in the logo.
This is not something that has decorated my home over the years. Instead, for decades, it has been carefully wrapped and moved from one storage box to another.
As a child, I never gave it much thought. I kept it because it was a gift from my mom and because she had brought it all the way back from Germany, but I never felt any connection to it. The little girl didn’t look like me. And while, at that age, I may have been chasing chickens on my godmother’s farm, I had absolutely no association with ducks.
When I was leaving Idaho, I considered selling it. But the market is flooded with Hummels. Probably a lot of people my age letting these treasures go. Holdovers from their parents, now deceased. They don’t exactly fit our modern taste.
So, I kept it. I wrapped it back up and put it in a box.
And here I am, once again, staring at this girl feeding ducks.
I think of how much my mom enjoyed watching ducks when she lived in Minnesota. And I remember how my mother would watch the geese at her retirement village and laugh.
I’ve decided it’s time this figurine stays where I can see it. Where I can enjoy it. It’s actually pretty sweet. And I don’t want to live with anything in boxes except a few Christmas ornaments and out-of-season clothes. If I’m going to keep this Hummel, it needs to be displayed.
Then I search online and discover this is not “Girl Feeding Ducks.” That name belongs to a different figurine. The one I have is called … well… suddenly, everything makes sense.
Why my mother chose this for me when I was just five years old.
Why I kept it all these years.
And why it speaks to me now.
I wasn’t meant to relate to the little girl.
Rather, the duck. I am a duck. I have always been a duck.
Be patient and you will be fed.
Good things are always coming.