A Sharpening Wheel

April 17, 2010

It would be simple to notice the forsythia in full bloom, that burst of yellow that tells us the winter might just be gone for good. But what I’m really noticing is an old sharpening wheel lying beneath that bush. It’s been lying there for the eleven years we’ve owned the house, and who knows how long before that. Perhaps it once lived in our old New England barn and was rolled out by someone who simply let it fall in that spot.

I don’t know the sharpening wheel’s history any more than I know the history of the forsythia bush. I stepped into their story when we bought the house. Yet, even though I don’t know who planted the bushes in my yard or why there is a sharpening wheel beneath one, I like that I’ve become part of the story. Much as I’d like to connect the facts all in a line that might bring some understanding of the history of this place where I live, maybe I don’t need to know. Maybe history is best understood as a series of questions connected by the thread of humanity.

A nice thing… stepping into the story to be part of the human connective thread.

4 Responses to “A Sharpening Wheel”

  1. The lost history of small things…leads to an imaginative contemplation of what went before.

    A stone laid down by an inland sea, or brought forth from the deep melting under us.

    A stone unearthed and shaped into a wheel by calloused hands, but what about the hearts?

    A stone wheel used to sharpen the tool to help send the favorite pullet, the one with the beautiful name, to its chicken glory to help feed the family.

    A stone wheel that helps someone holding a candle and then a pen to ward off the darkness.

    A stone wheel discarded, forgotten, to begin the millennial long process of becoming the soil beneath whatever walks next.

  2. Janie Fedosoff said

    Lovely. You are part of the history of the wheel and the plants. By living in the moment, you take up just as much space as the family that lived there 100 years ago. And you are history in the making. How sweet.

    I can’t see forsythias and now want to drop the blossoms in the wind to make helicopters. That is a favourite part of spring for me.

  3. Julie said

    This is just so lovely. I only have part of an eaten cow skull under my porch.

  4. KenHoney said

    Nice. I wish I had a sharpening wheel under my forsythia. All I have is dog poop. Which is my family’s contribution to this place: lots and lots of dog poop. And feral cat poop. We’re big on fertilizer.

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