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.