They don’t look like much, these notebooks and that battered white book. But they hold treasures. The notebooks hold an early novel draft. The white book contains poetry written when I was 10 or 11, and then up to my early twenties. The purple notebook, with the hand-written pages — that, my friends, is the record of my daughter’s birth, recorded by the attending midwife.

In that tattered blank book, given to me by a friend in high school, is some of my poetry written from elementary school on to my twenties. I thought I had lost it. To the right, the first page of the midwife’s notes on the home birth of my daughter, more than thirty years ago.

And then there are the Breyers, long-cherished models that I played with forever and ever. I did check their value, and with the exception of the white five-gaited stallion, their only worth is sentimental. In fact, the palomino is held up as the standard of Breyers that have no particular value.

Freshly washed and shined up, my babies trot again. These beauties date back to the 1960s and 1970s, although the foal may be from the 1990s. The palomino is held up as the standard of Breyers that have not increased in value, but he is the first one I bought with my paper girl money.

Except to those of us who loved them then and still do now.

So what happened? How did I lose track of these treasures? More than ten years ago a lot of our things went into storage. Maybe even 15 years ago, I don’t know. I carefully set aside my stories and essays and art from my early days, all the juvenalia that I’ve saved as part of my writer’s journey. And somehow, these notebooks ended up in a different box. And the Breyers were in a box of my daughter’s things. And the midwife’s diary — ditto, a separate box. I’ve looked for them over the years, and had to resign myself to their loss.

Lately we’ve been culling our storage space. No one wants to leave a mess for their grown children. First I found the Breyers, then a mystery box. It had all sorts of things in it, but I saw the wires of spiral notebooks underneath, and I pulled them out, and there they were. The handwritten novel. The blank book. The purple notebook with my daughter’s birth notes.

I sat on the floor of the kitchen and just felt an overwhelming feeling of relief and fulfillment.

Lost treasures. Found again. All the more loved for having been lost.


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