December 17, 2012 – An acorn can be a metaphor for so many things. An idea, a starting point, a tiny thing with the potential for greatness and magnificence. A metaphor for personal growth and achievement, for future prospects.
An acorn can be a beginning, a midpoint between generations, or it can symbolize an end product.
Or, it can just be an acorn.
Your Mother dies, you go home and are in grief. You have limited space to take things away with you.
What do you take?
Photo albums of course.
Family history and books of genealogy for certain.
One or two pieces of her favourite china are likely selections.
A book that she was trying to convince you to read and you found lying on the coffee table, waiting for you, it seems wrong not to take it.
A Christmas tree and three huge bags full of teddy bears? Probably not at the top of the list for most people.
A little pink depression glass sugar bowl containing a handful of acorns, found in a chest in the basement, wrapped in tissue paper? I am reasonably sure that’s not what most people would find room for when space is at a premium.
But that’s something that made its way from Prince George to Vancouver on the way home from the most difficult trip of my life.
I don’t really know.
Was I thinking rationally at the time?
Probably not, it’s not easy to be rational when the unthinkable and the completely irrational has just been thrust on you out of the blue.
Mom and I shared a fascination for things that were out of our personal ordinary. Acorns aren’t commonly encountered in Prince George, so Mom would have loved having a bowl of them around. I can’t recall ever holding an acorn in my hand, so to encounter a bowl of them was a strange little treasure. A treasure that, in a moment of grief motivated irrationality, I packed and carted home to the Coast.
I don’t know where she collected them, or when, or why. But I know she did. And I imagine she was delighted when she did so.
Mom and I both tended to collect strange things. I have a bowl of quail eggs buried in storage somewhere, I blew each of them myself when I was in University.
I guess it’s true, the acorn doesn’t fall very far from the tree.
Funny, but after writing that, they suddenly seem to have been very appropriate to have brought home with me.
“The acorn becomes an oak by means of automatic growth; no commitment is necessary. The kitten similarly becomes a cat on the basis of instinct. Nature and being are identical in creatures like them. But a man or woman becomes fully human only by his or her choices and his or her commitment to them. People attain worth and dignity by the multitude of decisions they make from day by day. These decisions require courage.” ~ Rollo May