PATINA. The word was originally used to describe the greenish film that forms on copper and bronze metal as a result of oxidation, as a result of being exposed to that unavoidable element, Air.
In other words, patina is basically “Life Happens.”
When we set out to sand down the gnarly, paint-covered hardwood floors of my little house, i was unsure how far we’d get toward a surface worthy of a clear-coat.
“We can paint the floor–I like that look too,” I said day one. (Less work. I like less work.)
“I’m sure we can get it sanded down enough for a clear finish,” daughter Corinne said. She is diligent. And stubborn (in the good way). She’s my “eyes on the prize” girl.
Two random orbital sanders, one badass edging sander, and three days later, we had the copious spilled paint, tile adhesive, and carpet-pad muck gone. Day four, clear-coat number one. Corinne, Aaron and Yours Truly made a formidable team of the sanding kind. (Though I may have been whimpering by day two.)
WE ARE NOT PROFESSIONALS. We did our best. We worked hard. I even sweat, even though I generally avoid that short of lazing about in a tropical climate.
At the end of the sanding, we had a beautiful circa 1946 red oak hardwood floor to show for our efforts–with patina.
Someone moved heavy furniture here and left grooves, spilled their drink there. These three boards were replaced.
Life Happened. It left marks. Beautiful story-telling marks.
I have patina. You have patina. We all have patina. We have the unavoidable marks of Life.
Life events, choices, nothing and everything has hit our skin and our souls and left patina.
As much as I would love to have the skin, hair, and body I had at 17, Life Has Happened.
I’ve met a million people whose stories have impacted me. I’ve experienced events that rewired my brain to be ultra-sensitive. I’ve worked to learn to handle those events. I’ve given birth, raised children, cooked a lifetime’s worth of mostly marginal meals. I’ve cried a lot but laughed more. I’ve gotten fatter and gotten wrinkles.
Life Happened. And Life is why I am Me.
And I’m finding that’s a good thing.