Keys are icons of possibility and mystery. The keys I have are mostly orphans and duplicates, functional at one time, utilitarian and ordinary from the time they were made, less so now that they just sit purposeless in my bowl on the countertop.
There is one key in particular that is very old; it was my grandmother's key - to what door I am not sure. It is a key from another age, a simpler time. It's brass, long, classic in design, but it seems to be something special; it's a whisper, a hint. A key like that seems to have developed a mystique simply by having outlived my grandmother and the lock it was intended for. It stirs the imagination even as it lies quietly in my hand.
It's the kind of key that Mary found that opened the secret garden, the kind of key that rattles nervously in the keyhole when a terrified and solitary woman is seeking refuge on a dark and stormy night and violins screech shrilly in the background. While it is not really grand enough to be a key to a kingdom, it is does have an allure about it. If nothing else, it unlocks my imagination, setting it free to run, perhaps through the halls of a walnut-paneled mansion set high on a hilltop, with love and intrigue hiding in the shadows.
The simple act of picking up the key and fingering it renews its ability to unlock a door, but now the door could be anywhere, in any time or country and by any one of a thousand vivid characters. An ordinary but now-old key has transcended its original pedestrian use, beckoning forth stories, creating images and songs with a simple blink of the mind's eye.
Causes Christine Bottaro Supports
The Nature Conservancy, California State Parks, The United Way