I bought a new wallet and while cleaning out the old one I found a single porcupine quill tucked into one of the credit card compartments. I have no idea where it came from.

My grandparents live on a farm in Canada. Once, while visiting, I took the difficult path along the side of the lake – the one that usually only the dog takes, while people cross by canoe. On the steep bank under the fir trees I found the remains of a porcupine: skin and quills. Sacred.

I took a few of the spines and when I got back to the house I carefully put them into a matchbox which I carefully stashed in the cup holder by the driver’s seat in my car, and which I never saw again. I don’t know how I lost them when I was being so attentive, but it seemed right. Must not have been okay for me to take anything from that animal.

So the other day when I found the treasure in my purse it felt like full circle. I’ve been given back one quill.

8 Responses to “found”

  1. buddha_is Says:

    Lovely… just lovely.

  2. Barb Says:

    My response was EXACTLY the same as “buddha_is.” I was going to say, “Lovely.” So, I guess you get two “lovely”s at once. Perhaps I can say serendipity instead…a lovely serendipity, although that’s redundant it seems to me.

  3. Acey Says:

    that is a wonderful story and also partly magical. It made me speak after reading along silently for most of a year.

  4. Ren Says:

    As always, I love your posts and photos, but I can’t help feeling like it’s more a sign that you should go back and visit the grandparents.. or that your wallet really needed that cleaning out.
    I was outside LaPaz a few years ago at the Inca/Aymara ruins of “Tiahuanaco” with my Dad and my sister. It’s a pretty breathtaking area, and they’re still slowly excavating much of it carefully so you can’t take pictures or anything in some places. When we got back home to Cochabamba my dad produced a little jagged stone from his pocket and said something like “see, I have a piece of this history now to remember it all the time”. My sister and I were really mad at him, but he didn’t really care or get it. I know it’s really different, but it’s like taking stills of mountains or rain; it always feels flat compared to the sensory memory of everything else thats happening when you experience something, almost a violation. Not that the quill is this, it just reminded me of the rock. the changing of wallets, the credit card pocket, the quill, the farm, family; seems more like a kind of sign than a gift. (hope I didn’t offend, it just made me think)

  5. Ellen Says:

    thank you

  6. jude Says:

    i have been think ing about how holding things transforms them. and this photo does it for me.

  7. christine Says:

    It is the photo of the hand that has me facinated, so like a landscape or the view from a plane.

  8. wazz Says:

    yes indeed — the found quill in your hand redeems the purloined ones

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