Absence

There are a couple of door stops around the house. They’ve been kicking around my wife’s family for so long that nobody knows how old they are – just that they had been grandma’s at one time, but where they came from before is a mystery. Generations ago, they came down from Vermont from one of the family homes. Cast iron and onetime painted, they get kicked around as feet boot and shove them into position to keep doors in place.

I think it might be generous to consider them Victorian in provenance. But other than one being of a dog and the other a sailing ship, nobody in the family can accurately describe them. They rarely are glanced at. Our feet do all the necessary communication, and we rarely indulge them with even passing attention.

The regrettable domain of much that is helpful in our life is to be ignored. It doesn’t matter that it’s not of such importance that life might crash to a stop without it. But my feet would flounder about looking for its solid presence to keep that dining-room door open, irritatedly ask who took the door stop, and find some other object to serve the door stops useful function.

Consider the lowly; we only notice its absence when we need it but offer it no attention when it is not.

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