Monday and Thursday evenings are fun, in Amsterdam. Everyone puts out the garbage and with it many unwanted objects. Think antique cupboards, vintage chairs and wooden toys. It’s fun, really fun. Especially if you are like me and can think of a million things you could do with, let’s say, a simple wooden box. My interior is filled with repurposed items, although I usually use them for something else than their original purpose. A few days ago, I was doing my evening walk with Jan and suddenly I saw a huge traditional wooden sleigh between the garbage bags. It was still intact, the wood, the metal underneath its runners… how could someone throw it away? I was sure it was once a child’s most treasured possession. Probably someone’s grandpa. Yes, at that moment I even knew how that child was called (Maarten, if you want to know), as that is how my imagination works. I hugged the sleigh and decided it would come home with me.
Jan’s upside down mouth and unamused stare were telling another story. No, the sleigh was NOT coming home with me. But it was coming with me to somewhere, maybe a friend was just looking for a sleigh?
It was a hot evening so probably none of my friends would greet this idea with enthusiasm. The sleigh was extremely heavy. The wood was of good old-fashioned quality which means it weighted as much as a small person. Jan didn’t even want to touch it and I started to panick. On the one hand, I felt so sorry for the poor sleigh and on the other hand, I was almost collapsing under its weight. To make things worse, a drunken and very dirty beggar started following me, screaming ‘Let me see that! Is that a sleigh? I want to sit on it. Give it to me!’
Just when I thought ‘I am going to leave this here and run’, the ideal new home for my old sleigh appeared out of nowhere: a very large sandpit in a nice and leafy playground near my home.
It has been a week and every day I see small children having the time of their life moving the sleigh around, sitting on it, building things on top of it. You are never too old to start a new life.