Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jolies Maries

Back in June, I blogged about my growing collection of religious figures. As we settle into the new place, with new people in our lives and a new concept of family, I find myself drawn more and more to the Holy Family. These three people: a carpenter, a young girl and their infant son, sum up so clearly (for me, anyway) the everyday struggle of humans everywhere to live in obedience to God, unified by a common thread of love for one another.

Early on in our search at estate sales and yard sales, I found this lovely Mary vase.

She stayed awhile on a shelf in my kitchen, holding the occasional gardenia and bringing a sense of peace and serenity to the area around my sink, which is often anything but peaceful and serene.

A couple of weeks ago, she found a new home, with someone who needed her more than I did. Best Friend of Dear Daughter is moving away with her family to the magical land of N orthc Aro Lina. Dear Daughter called me at work one day, sobbing in that soft, breathless way of a child whose heart has been utterly shattered, devastated by the realization that while she was in New Orleans on her annual summer adventure, Best Friend would be packing up and heading east. She was searching the house for something to give Best Friend as a memento. She'd come up with a few personal items, but wanted something really special. After a bit of thought, I suggested she give her Mary. She waffled for a while, not wanting to give away something of mine, but I assured her it was really okay. Finally, she made the decision and took the vase to Best Friend, who by all accounts, seems to love her.

I love the idea of this version of this Sweet Mother coming into our life for a brief while, and then going on to watch over and be loved by someone so dear to our own hearts. Besides, I know that even without the image, Mary never really leaves us. Her fingerprints really are everywhere.

Saturday, at another estate sale, I walked into a homey little Midtown bungalow near the cathedral. In a downstairs bedroom, waiting for me on a night table was this beautiful lady.
She now occupies the same spot in my kitchen as the previous figure. It's good to have her back.

This afternoon when I came home from work, there were two packages waiting. One was addressed to me, and contained the shattered results of a recent eBay purchase (more on this in another post), but the other was sent to my dear Norwegian. In it, was this delicate figure.

I love her Italianate features and her red hair. She's on a shelf in the Mom Cave up front. I love that the Norwegian thought to find her and bring her home. Of course, I also love the idea that it could be the other way around.

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