Treasure-hunting is my favorite pastime, and I tend to have a few collections going at once.

 

In my first Monday report of 2016, I promised to share some of my own discoveries as a serendipiter. My hope is that you will feel inspired to collect the bits and bobs you find, whether or not they exhibit an apparent purpose.

 

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Banana Peels

It would seem this staple of slapstick is seeking me out, not the other way around. Between February and March 2017, a season of my life marked by a devastating personal tragedy, I encountered rather a large number (six) of discarded banana peels—on city sidewalks, in gutters alongside cigarette butts and dry leaves, and in suburban parks. Is it just me? Does everyone find banana peels on a weekly basis? No matter; I read these sightings as suggestions to laugh whenever I can, to engage in silliness, to lighten and loosen up—and to dwell in the comedy, not the tragedy, of life. As Robert Moss writes in his book, Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols, and Synchronicity in Everyday Life: "The more grave the issue, the more important to keep our sense of humor. Death is much too serious to be approached with solemnity." The collection continues to grow, and I continue to smile.

Feathers

Acquisition began in Golden, CO, shortly after I spotted my first black-billed magpie. Who knows what will come of a digital collection of feathers. It doesn't really matter. The important point is that I find them because I'm willing to notice them.

Let's Do This

By far, my most unusual and unexpected collection is comprised of these orange buckets emblazoned with Home Depot's optimistic slogan. Acquisition began in Ashland, VA, when our RV adventure had just begun, and I immediately took the phrase as a sign that our attitude was the most important part of the decision to go mobile (I didn't know it was Home Depot's slogan until later). Whenever I locate another orange bucket, I take it as confirmation that I'm on the right track—that the adventure is mine for the taking, that all I have to do is declare my desire and go forth with enthusiasm. It's a pleasant, can-do mantra to consider: Let's do this. Yes, let's.

 

(Museum tags being prepared for additional collections. Please revisit.)