Years ago during a summer break I took a pewtersmithing class. It seemed interesting and pewter was a material with which I had no experience. One of the pieces I felt I had to make was a box to hold leaves. That fall I collected some brightly colored leaves that faded, shriveled or broke into fragile bits so they were eventually thrown out. It wasn’t a very practical box but it was one of my favorite pieces so I carefully wrapped it in fabric and stored it away.
I met my future-husband a couple of years later. A year after that I was helping him clean out the room he rented in a house shared with friends. Most of the furniture had been moved out, the floor was swept clean and we went upstairs for one final check. There were a few dried leaves left on a small shelf which he picked up and considered. “These things are so old I guess I should just get rid of them…” but he hesitated. I suggested he keep them if they are important and asked what they were. He explained that the leaves came from a Bodhi tree, and were given to him by his mom as he left his home country over 20 years ago. The leaves had survived a move to California, then Oregon, DC, Florida and a return move to DC. I told him I could find a safe place for the leaves.
I took the leaves carefully to the car and held on to them as he drove to my mostly-packed-up condo. I was able to find the empty leaf box, show him what I had felt the need to make years ago and we decided it was a good place for the well-traveled leaves to rest.