Do you ever feel that things in the past are in exactly the same place as you left them? I often feel that I could get into my car right now and drive down to Georgia (save for the baby sleeping on my shoulder). I could park in my grandparents' driveway and walk in the door to the back porch. Immediately to my right I would find the spigot with the old galvanized steel bucket underneath to catch drips. And sitting on the little brick ledge would be the gourd.
This gourd my grandfather had as far back as I can remember. He grew it, cut it, hollowed out the fat end, dried it, rubbed oil on the outside. He used it as a dipper to water the plants in the garden. There are a few items that always say Granddaddy to me: a two-toned, caramel-colored 1976 Volare, an old metal level, an emerald ring from Penney's, and that gourd dipper.
After years and years of regular use, he glued the gourd when it cracked. Then he taped it with duct tape when it leaked. He made other gourd dippers that he never used because he liked that one. When he died, I got the gourd. I had it for a couple of years but gave it to my brother. As much as it means to me, it means even more to him. But I have the level. And the ring.
So in my mind, when I want things to slow down, I go to the back porch and fill up that bucket. I carry it to the garden, the thin handle putting dents in my palm with the weight of the water. I slowly water each tiny sprout, careful not to disturb the roots. I feel the sunshine on my back, smell the laundry drying on the line, and watch the light reddish dirt turn dark as it soaks in the water.
It's all still there, just like it was.