Art Abandonment, Bridge of Flowers, Shelburne Falls

Pick Me Up!

That’s what it said on the piece of paper Hank found in a small plastic bag tucked between the slats of a wooden bench. He was enjoying a coffee he had bought and sitting at a favorite spot near the Bridge of Flowers in our village when he discovered the bag. But wait, there’s more: a pair of earrings was inside.

As the photo above shows, the earrings have a translucent glass bead and a flat tear-drop with gold leaf bits encased in a clear resin.

The message goes on: “(hurry before someone else does.) This handmade gift has been left here with the hope that it brings you joy. Keep it, pass it on, or leave it for someone else to find.”

Hank brought it home to me.

I was charmed by the gift and the story of how he found the little treasure when he placed his hand on the bench. Then, I tried them on. Yes, I felt joy wearing them.

But there’s more. A second note gives information about Art Abandonment, a group of artists “who leave their creations in random locations across the globe for others to find and enjoy.” It has a link to Facebook.

The discovery makes me wonder who left the earrings. The Bridge of Flowers is a big attraction in Shelburne Falls, the village where we live, so it could have been a visitor or someone local.

The concrete bridge with its graceful arches was built over the Deerfield River in 1908 by a railway to handle freight. But the company went bankrupt nine years later after trucking became more popular.

Fortunately, Antoinette Burnham suggested transforming the 400-foot bridge into a garden — two long rows of flowering plants and shrubs separated by a wide footpath. The Shelburne Falls Women’s Club sponsor the Bridge of Flowers, which celebrated its 90th year in 2019. 

Volunteers assist two gardeners in maintaining the bridge, which draws thousands of people to our village when it is open from April 1 to Oct. 31. It’s free to enter but donations are welcome. Here’s the website for more, including what is in bloom. 

By the way, I walk it every day. So does Hank. We’re often together although not that time.

But back to those earrings. I’ve worn them every day since their discovery — using a plastic backing so I don’t lose them while wearing a mask or working outside. They have indeed brought me joy, so thank you to the anonymous creator and donor.

By the way, I have met several people who have remarked about the earrings. I typically smile and tell them, “There’s a story behind them.” And, yes, they want to hear all about it.

MY BOOKS: Writing is something else that brings me joy. I am three-quarters of the way through no. 6 of my Isabel Long Mystery Series. You can check them out on Amazon. Thank you, if you do.

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