There are things that make me happy.
Light fabrics, draped in green and white. Expensive things that elicit sighs when they arrive in the mail. Little tags attached with cream ribbons; little notes thanking me for my business.
The memory of walking around a small-town Ohio festival in the Fall, wearing a mustard-yellow jacket and Jackie-O glasses. I’m thirteen and already I’m puttering in antique shops and haunting library book sales. I find an old Ethan Frome paperback and buy it for a quarter. I read it a quarter of the way through on the hour-long drive while sandwiched between my grandparents in the backseat. They’re both still alive when I’m thirteen and the car is filled with their smell: tomato plants, old furniture, Chesterfields.
I’m taken from the golds and reds of Ohio Autumn and into the stark white, black, and grey of a New England Winter. I feel the rush and the bite of the freezing wind, the smooth wooden planks of Ethan’s wagon. Edith Wharton and I share a birthday, I find it odd that the book jacket mentioned that she was born on January 24th. I decide to read everything she ever wrote and I feel happy and a little carsick. Reading in the car always makes me a little carsick. This memory has been close around me lately.
What’s calming me on this New Year’s Day is the act of staying in and settling down. Feathers are ruffled in flight and then smoothed back down again. The nest is comfortable. The nest is beautiful. The nest is large enough for the three of us.