Since the move I have not been very interested in hunting and gathering. “I’m not in an acquiring phase,” I’ve said to a friend or two. I’ve had no interest in antique shops or malls and have driven past the occasional estate sale without even slowing down to look and see what the shoppers have tucked under their arms. “I don’t need anything,” I kept thinking and then furrowing my brow because this phrase from other people used to seem incomprehensible. I had always thought that need went beyond the calories it took to survive. To be delighted had always seemed a critical need and I wondered why I was not interested in seeking it.
Then the weather became warmer and I realized that I do need porch furniture. Mission Road Antique Mall usually has a good selection of old wicker and that is exactly what I had in my head. I could already smell the fumes of the black spray paint that would make it right. So off I went last week to see if I could find – and afford – a sofa or a chair or two.
There were a few pieces, all beyond my purse. While on the hunt, in a back corner on the second floor, I ran across a tall copper post leaning against a short wall. The small rectangular tag hanging by a thin string with a tiny knot, the kind that is often difficult to tie with adult-sized fingers, said, “Old lightning rod” in neat script.
It made me smile. A man who knows me well had told me once that I am a lightning rod. I did not get his inference then and did not ask for clarity, but it has bubbled up to the top of my mind from time to time. In all my digging about in dusty spaces I have never come across a lightning rod before and suddenly, I had to have it.
In that rush of wanting, I remembered what had drawn me to these places in the beginning. The discovery is so personal. In the homes that I love best, I usually find that there are things that beg for explanation. I find, too, that in the telling, we get to know one another better. And that is truly a delight.
I know this looks more weather-vaney than lightning rod. There is a very pointy top that is not pictured here. The arrow seemed more interesting, so he was allowed to star instead.