Around 1988, Ken took his vision for a seasonal wheel, calligraphied beautifully in his book Seasons & Cycles: Rhythms of Life in the Kaw River Basin, to clay. Taking a required art class (required to start the Occupational Therapy program at K.U. Med. Center), he made wedge-shaped tiles, each one a month and all painted with colors of its respective season. “Beautiful,” I told him at the time. “What do we do with them?” He didn’t know, and neither did I, so into the basement they went, and when we moved, to another basement they went.
The Hanukkah miracle is that this year, while laying out the tiled base for our corn pellet (will we ever get it installed?) stove, Ken remembered the tiles, and then — the real miracle — we found them intact in the morass of the basement. Considering all else that lives in our basement (which should have its own zip code), I couldn’t believe I lifted the box from behind other boxes on a shelf, and there the tiles were.
Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do with stuff. My general inclination is to box and bag things up and donate them, but Ken likes to hold onto things just in case, despite the usual impossibility of finding anything at the right time. Sometimes what’s found astonishes us because it’s finally ready to step out into the light, and in this case, out into the light and heat of this new stove. I guess it was the right cycle in the right season.