It’s all landfill-bound anyway

When I was 15, I performed in an international piano competition. I traveled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to play Bach, Debussy and Schubert — and to spend days awestruck by the talented young pianists I was surrounded by.

This evening, almost four decades later, I peeked into a box of grade school and high school memorabilia and found the certificate that declared my semi-finalist status, all calligraphic flourishes and seals.

And tiny nibbles. Nibbles! A strip of my certificate was missing.

Poking through the box, I saw that at some point since I packed it, mice had found their way into my memories, chewing away edges of grade school report cards, old letters and a notebook in which I’d traced my small hand and practiced writing the names of some of my earliest friends.

And my piano certificate.

I told my teenage son that I was going to throw it all away.

“Are you sure you want to do that?” he asked.

I explained about the mice and the mess they had made, and although I felt a bit mournful, I put on a brave face.

“I know what I’ve done,” I told him, “and I know who I am.”

I tossed my box of memories into the garbage can, and my son pulled it to the curb.

High above us, the crescent moon hung in the sky, the rest of the orb in shadow.

“The full moon,” said my son. “Only part of it is lit.”

This young man often sees the world differently than I do, and tonight, his way of describing the moon gave me a new way of thinking about my special box, now bound for the landfill.

Like tonight’s crescent moon, it contains just a bit of shiny stuff, a tiny part of a full life.

2 thoughts on “It’s all landfill-bound anyway

  1. Hi Sarah, saw the crescent moon last night also, but a bright star, believing it was a planet, maybe Venus, was aligned🌙 with it. Both were amazingly beautiful in the dark midnight sky. Beauty in the eyes of the beholder😉🩷

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