Monday, November 16, 2009

Favorite Bookmarks

My bookmark selection for November 2009 comes from Florence, Italy (1980)

It's hard for me to believe that this bookmark is 29 years old. When it was gifted to me I was a year out of college and on my first trip to Europe. Each time I hold this bookmark it reconnects me to my twenties and a friendship with Leah.

I met Leah, a high school teacher from California, that summer in Europe. We spent a week together after meeting by chance. In Rome we went our separate ways. She was scheduled to be in Spain and I was going to Greece.

It happened that we both had reservations later at the same hotel in Florence. When I arrived several weeks after her, this bookmark from Leah was waiting for me.

We kept in touch for nine years and then lost track of each other for eighteen. About two years ago we reconnected and look forward to meeting again.

I had forgotten this bookmark existed until it reappeared in my life earlier this year. My mom was dying and her house had just been sold. I was there in my childhood home for the last time and went into her bedroom where stacks of boxes had been organized.

My eyes focused on a strip of brown leather on the floor. Without thinking I picked it up and turned it over. A wave of emotion struck when I saw it was my bookmark from Leah.

Inscribed on the back was a note from Leah dated 1980 hoping we would stay in touch.

Note: The website, Forgotten Bookmarks, has inspired me to share a favorite bookmark with you each month. Please add your comments.

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Ho'ola'i na manu i ke aheahe

"The birds poise quietly in the gentle breeze."
Said of those who are at peace with the world, undisturbed and contented.