Thursday, March 15, 2012
to the careless and forgotten,
I have known my first love since I was only but a couple months old. He arrived via airmail, in a box addressed to the c/o my mother, but he was all mine. Made of nylon stuffing and brown furry fabric, two bulbous, glass eyes and a rough plastic snout, his namesake came out of my early, underdeveloped speech trying to describe the most important things I associated with. “Brown Bear” just stuck.
With the shabby appearance of a Mr. Bojangles character, matted and patched, he has been my companion for 29 years and one of the few belongings that has survived my many travels, and the complete spectrum of perilous storage spaces. He can often be found wedged somewhere among my furnishings, or amongst a pile of clothes, looking rather squished or playful, but always with that permanent and mischievous smirk of having seen it all. Every time he resurfaces, he makes me smile with the purest kind of joy I know, and reminisce about the early days.
But this is not an Ode to Brown Bear, it is but a simple thought about protecting those which mean the most, and keeping them out of harm’s way. I’m not the type of person to care about “stuff”, material possessions or the sort. Brown Bear has never in my mind been a “thing”, nor has he been as real as a living breathing human being, yet there has been inside of me this impression that a spirit was kindled between us many years ago, and it would be wrong of me to ever discount or toss aside my childhood friend, even if I had outgrown him long before I discovered what true love really was.
This lesson holds tight, even now. When you take the time to bandage what is broken, to not misplace or forget the reasons why they mean most to you, and when you can truly look back and say, “Yes, we have made it here together,” then there shouldn’t be a question in mind as to what you should do. Love and protect, plain and simple. I understood this as a child, I believe this even more as a woman today.