Saturday, August 13, 2016

I found a lost marble on my walk yesterday. A swirl of red and green, on white. Right away I felt a soft leather bag in my hand, weighed down with Grampa Smitty's marbles. I heard the rattle of glass, marbles large and small, plus the clink of a steely in the mix. The bag smells like an old baseball glove. I loosen the leather thong and dump the marbles on the rag rug. I see cat eyes, swirls of solid colors, little sapphire, ruby, and emerald spheres. There is an oversized bomb that looks like a many colored candy jawbreaker. By the way, I am now nine years old. The bag of marbles is my inheritance. Many of the marbles have chips in them, scars from warfare waged maybe during the Great Depression. I wonder if the phrase "losing your marbles" comes from those childhood contests, from a sad walk home with a lighter bag. I know I will never risk these treasures in combat. Like mist the memory dissolves. I am old again. Where are my marbles? Where are grampa's marbles? I have lost them. Literally, I have lost my marbles. Somewhere in the chaos of a splintering family, many moves, and time's torrent they are gone. But here is one. Someone else's lost marble. I will keep it. Just as someone, somewhere, keeps mine. Reassurance. Grace.