The old picnic table we inherited when we moved in more than fifteen years ago served us again tonight--one last time--as the starter fuel for a fine bonfire. It had fulfilled its purpose.
Andrew and I heaped debris on the fire, and with the table crackling and blazing beneath, we watched flames consume what was no longer of use: old rose canes and branches and half-burned logs, fruit tree trimmings and scraps of firewood too small for efficient use in our wood stove.
We gathered around the fire again a few minutes ago, good intentions for roasting marshmallows in hand--only the marshmallows, fresh bought from the store, were somehow a homogenous gluey mass. Melissa harvested one glob and roasted it anyway, probably just to say we did.
Amid the bright coals and dull ashes was a little piece of history--the residue of a rustic table and the memories of a job well done.
The value of a thing is not in building monuments; it's not in preserving in dusty relics. Real value is very often simply the fulfillment of the purpose for which something is made.
© Copyright May 2017 by Robert G. Robbins