If my house ever burns down (God forbid) the inspectors will probably find that the spark that initiated the blaze began on top of the dryer. My washer and dryer are old. I mean, it takes three strong men to carry each of them into the house, after you have removed the front door so that they will fit, old. But they still work and that’s all that really matters to me. (The fact that I have to use a pair of pliers to turn the washer on, only means it has character.)
And since they are so large and ancient that means that there is a large flat space on top of the dryer. Now I assume that people once used this space to fold clothes or sit laundry baskets on. Not in my house. You see there is this rule (like one of those hard to break laws, like gravity or physics) that all flat surfaces attract random items until the surface is completely hidden. It is true of the dining room table, the tops of book shelves, and even the top of the refrigerator. The dryer is not immune.
The difference is that instead of books, papers, and cereal boxes; the dryer attracts treasures. It’s like a rectangular white dragon hiding under it’s hoard. You have the normal assortment of loose change, the collection of chap stick, and the pile of receipts.
Then there is the magic that comes out of children’s pockets. Shiny rocks, odd color rocks, clumps of dirt that looked like rocks, sticks, stickers, acorns, leaves, crumpled sketches, indecipherable lists, pine cones, gum wrappers, ponies (really tiny ones), screws, bolts, pieces of wire, shiny pieces of plastic, bottle caps (the plastic ones off of soda bottles), marbles, feathers,…the list goes on.
Each item represents something they found. Something that caught their interest. Something that made them go “Oooooh!” These are things we see everyday a walk right past but to my children each item is a treasure or an idea.
As writers it wouldn’t hurt us to be more like children. To take a look at the world around us with those wondering eyes that see magic in plastic bottle caps. As people, I believe it would it would do us a world of good as well.