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.

My good luck

Lost Then Found

It was a small thing, really, an earring. That piece of jewelry and its pair meant a lot to me. And I was distraught when I lost it.

But hold on. There’s more to this story.

First, the earrings are Native-made from the Four Corners area of the Southwest. That’s where my sister, Christine, bought them. They were a gift from her several years ago, which adds to their value.

I loved the earrings’ design created in silver and a bit of coral. So have countless strangers who have stopped to tell me. A Taos Pueblo shop owner told me he hadn’t seen that quality in twenty years.

I wore them almost every day.

But then one night about two weeks ago while watching TV, I touched my right earlobe and discovered the earring was missing. Oh, no.

So, the search began, hampered from the get-go because I didn’t know exactly when I lost the earring — only when I discovered it was gone. I searched the apartment we’re renting and the house we’re renovating. Both cars. Hank helped. Nothing.

Then I retraced my steps for the day.

Since moving to Western Mass., I’ve been typically wearing three tops, a heavy jacket, scarf, and woolen hat because it’s so darn cold and damp. Could I have lost the earring when I removed one of them during my errands?

I asked at the coffee shop and stores in the village. Nothing. (I must say from what I’ve seen, people lose a lot of eyeglasses.) I searched the ground where I walked. Nothing again.

Two weeks passed. I became philosophical about attachment and loss. Perhaps, as a daughter suggested, I could turn the sole survivor into a pendant.

But every time I’d see one of my photos, I would be wearing those earrings. Damn, they were a part of me.

Then the other day, we had a wet four inches of snow . I grabbed a shovel to clear my parking space at the house. Because it’s so close to the road, it catches a lot of heavy snow from the highway department truck’s plow blade.

As I shoveled snow, I notice something shiny on the ground. I looked closer. Yes, it was the earring. It must have fallen beneath the car when I took off my hat or a scarf or something else.

I cried out loud at my good fortune. Hank, who was working inside, was surprised when I told him.

During the past two weeks, there was a long spell when that parking space was clear to the asphalt. Why hadn’t I noticed the earring before? I guess I just wasn’t looking there.

So, where are the earrings now? That night I cleaned and polished them with a jeweler’s cloth and put them away for safekeeping until I no longer wear heavy clothes. I vow to use guards on the hoops. In the meantime, I wear a pair that would take quite a yank to lose.

Is there a lesson here? Oh, sure, probably something about faith and attachments. But the God’s honest truth? I’m just happy to have it back.

SOME WRITING NEWS: Thanks to Fiona Mcvie for hosting me on her author blog. Here’s the link: