a chest of memories

i sat on the floor, encircled by a stuff: a precarious stack of teen magazines; a delicate white mask decorated in crisp pink flowers; an old Land's End box, crammed full of colorful envelopes; books; a nubby peach shawl, crocheted for a long ago Civic War re-enactment dance; and so many albums.  

the contents of my cedar hope chest were scattered over our bedroom floor. everything i picked up held a memory. 

that time four young girls decided to publish a newspaper. staff meetings, where a group of teenagers carefully cut out photographs and haggled over potential names for an upcoming yearbook. letters -- written by two best friends -- the colored envelopes covered in girlish loops and cartoony pictures.

that afternoon, while the sun danced merrily over the walls, i cleaned out my hope chest. a few things went back in -- photo albums, yearbooks, a stuffed childhood pup i absolutely refused to part with with. but a lot of stuff i said goodbye to. it was a weird feeling, getting rid of all these sentimental things. but wrapped up with the weirdness were slivers of pure, golden excitement.

what things will be going into this chest in the next few years?