She had a fascination with amber: Preserving things in time. She would stare into the leafy canopy that stretched above her backyard like a stained glass, shadowed by ‘the Greats’, and think about all those trees untold histories. Amber, since Neolithic times, seemed the trees way of cataloging their history, a jeweled library (for amber was, in fact, fossilized tree resin)—their innards solidified in time like the little beads in a kaleidoscope.
This fascination guided her choice in major. She studied humanities/history throughout college. She saw time in structure; built on histories, like Legos. If one knew her well, they may say she was peering into the past to try to figure out her own. She had no idea how she had become the person she was today from her family unit, perhaps she could find it inbetween the lines of text, woven in the baskets of time, in the trees?
She refinished all her furniture. There was something to sanding something down, finding what was underneath and turning it into something new. She found solace in this work, a connection between past and present and future— she was uncovering this table’s history with each stroke of the arm while simultaneously shaping the family dinners to be had at that table in years to come. She loved and longed for the cylindricalness of past, present, future; structure; it made sense.
And when refinishing furniture failed, she would can; preserve fruits and vegetables from her garden. You could feel her fear of being alone like the steam rising off of the bubbling water before she put the jars delicately in the double-boiler. This is how she preserved time. And when she was finished and the lids made a satisfying “POP” to let her know they were done, that they were indeed preserved, she would hold them up the light like she was looking through amber.