Saturday, February 13, 2016

Love and Horse Chestnuts

From a seed a mighty trunk may grow ~ Aeschylus

As my husband, Dennis, went off to jury duty recently, I got to thinking back to one of my courthouse visits. After I walked through security, the officer pointed to the scanner screen and very nicely asked me, "What's the round object in the bottom of your purse?" I wasn’t sure what he was talking about so I riffled through my little purse and began to smile. I pulled out a very smooth, shiny horse chestnut (some may know them as buckeyes). I said, “You’re probably wondering why I have this in my purse?” He raised his eyebrows, shrugged his shoulders, and smiled. I explained that it came from Volunteer Park in Seattle where my husband and I went on our first date and where we had gotten married many years ago. I went on to say that my husband picked it up under one of the numerous horse chestnut trees in the park, cleaned it off, and gave it to me as we were wandering about on one of our visits. I even mentioned that when I run across the chestnut in my purse, it reminds me of how much he loves me. The security officer smiled and said that he had never seen a horse chestnut come through the scanner before, and that it was something he would not forget.

It may be a scent, a taste, a song, a feeling, or the sight of a chestnut that captures a surprise memory of long ago-like when I run into the love I have rolling around in the bottom of my purse. This surprise memory not only reminds me of how much my husband loves me, but how much our love has grown through the years. Yes, a mighty trunk has grown. While I have forgotten how long ago I received that little gem of a chestnut, I have never forgotten the sentiment behind it and cherish that sentiment each time the surprise memory comes to mind.
Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) photo courtesy of Plant Image Library