JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

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what your hands left here

March 13th, 2004 · No Comments

I hold the bowl in my hand. It is clay glazed the color of sand. It feels heavy but the walls are light: thin curves. More graceful than any one I ever made on the wheel.

I don’t know what happened to the family who gave it to us. We used to go for walks in the woods together, hiking to the Elbow Tree, the kids playing kitchen at a rotted stump. They taught me to recognize trillium and types of trees. We went camping together, spending the night by a lake near Mount Baker, surrounded by wild blueberry bushes: four adults and five kids under five. For us Leungs it was our first outdoor adventure as a family: we learned to use the Treasure Box and ate creations cooked over the fire. When our friends left the island, moving to California, they gave us strawberry plants and a box filled with seeds.

The seeds have grown and gone. The strawberry plants remain, smaller now that I thinned them last summer. And the bowl, a housewarming gift, handmade by B., sits on the countertop holding oranges and bananas.

I don’t know what happened to the man who made the bowl, to his wife and their children, what happened to our friends. I think of them often. Whenever I drive past the forest. Whenever I fill the bowl with fruit. I haven’t heard from them in months, since their last baby was born. I am sure they are busy. I hope they are happy. I hope they know what their hands have left here, the shape of the clay on the countertop and the shapes they made on our hearts.

Tags: journal