Saturday, March 2, 2013

Time in a Bottle

It’s just an old pop bottle. I went wandering with Flo through a nearby woods on the day of the Brickyard a few years ago. One of the two huge oaks anchoring the sandy shore of the west side of Falcon Run Creek, near the railroad trestle, had fallen–decades of erosion had washed away the grip the old tree once held on the land. Deep in the crater left by the toppled tree, I saw the neck of an old pop bottle jutting out of the sand and photographed it.

I pulled on the bottle cautiously, thinking it was most probably broken, but it was intact, full of sand, just scratched up a bit. We brought it home, cleaned it, filled it part way up with water and added some blue food coloring and a cork. The bottle’s shape was unusual to me, in that it didn’t resemble any soft drink brand I recognized.

How long had it lay buried in that sand, for an oak to grow to such a size over it, I wondered. It could date back to the time the trestle was built, circa 1908.

I took a few photos and put it away.

After more than thirteen years on the shelf, it has collected a healthy coating of dust; that has made it look more its age.

There are still moments to look at an old, worn coin and wonder at who passed it on when it was new and shiny, or who drained the old pop bottle on a hot summer’s day, and tossed it in the sand.