Happily so far there has been very little damage in the shipment from Italy - only two broken bowls in an old dinner set - and the wine arrived intact! Would that the same could be said for things that were in long term storage - there is rather large dent in the upholstery of an armchair and the satin-finished Watered Maple dining table top has a few more abrasions, scratches and nicks than when it left the house in Aylmer. But one of the fears of any unpacking job - no matter the provenience of the packing - is that you may inadvertently leave something in the reams of packing paper and have it whisked off to the mangler at the warehouse. I was sure just such a fate had befallen two of my favourite little creatures.
|Two hummingbirds - carved in BC cedar by Haida artist Dorothy August - said to bring joy and healing.|
In Rome they graced the wall of the hallway leading down to the bedrooms. I had opened a box and everything from that hallway was there - two small drawings from San Miguel de Allende, a decorative hanging from Sappa, a searing political cartoon from Poland and an 18th century hand coloured print of Warsaw. And only after the box had been collapsed and paper disposed off did I realize that of hummingbirds had I none.
I looked through the discarded paper in nearby boxes - in effect unwrapping everything again - but no luck! There were 12 other boxes filled with wrapping paper but I just didn't have the time or strength to go through them all. Several people - Cathy, Mark and Laurent - assured me that I would find them, that they had just been put in another box. That the packers had perhaps overlooked them and then at the last minute put them where space allowed. I wasn't buying that story - everything else from the hallway was in the one box so they must have been. They were small and very light weight so I had missed them in the unpacking. I reconciled myself to the fact that my two little hummingbirds had been lost.
Well I guess you should always listen to your friends. A few days later as I was unpacking a box from the dining room (?) there they were. Not to be too poetic or sentimental - my two tiny birds hadn't flown away at all - they were just waiting to be found, unwrapped and to be given a place in our new home.
I'm not sure when Haida artist Dorothy August carved these two - 12/8 is written on the back in pencil which could be December 8 or August 12 but no year is indicated. She's originally from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island and her Haida heritage is Nuu-chah-nulth from the Ahusaht First Nation. According to the brief biographical note I received from The Spirit Gallery as well as cedar carvings she is know for her intricate bead-work and the Cowichan sweaters she knits.
I know their appearance amongst all that bloody wrapping paper gave me a sense of joy - and relief. They are now hovering on the hallway wall in our - and their - new home.
17 agosto/august - Sant' Elia di Enna