A small copper box with a turquoise mica top. A tiny copper oil bottle that buckles when I press my thumb on the bottom of the well. A heralding, copper angel. A copper tea kettle. A copper apple mole for cooking something I could not even begin to identify. A copper shelf filled with pear candles. Two copper candle holders.

The shelf that holds all these precious items hangs above the french doors that glow between my parents’ deck and their dining room table. The doors themselves shimmer in this gloaming with the copper tint my mom added to all the moldings and the beautiful accent wall behind me. Copper was her favorite.

The wall behind me is a Tuscan orange, the color of the earth in the beautiful cliffs that hold Etruscan tombs near Volterra. Mom has taken a sponge and added subtle shimmers of leaves to the paint, their images only visible if the light catches them just right. The make the whole wall dance.

This seems to be the way of copper. So glorious in its purity, so easily greened by the elements.

So seems to be the way of my mom. Yesterday, the church for her service was filled. People spoke of how Mom brought out what was pure and beautiful in there. They talked of the way she could see what was beautiful and glorious in each of them.

I had always thought of my mom as being like copper herself, and she was. But now, I realize that she collected more than just copper objects; she collected the overlooked, underappreciated people of the world, drew them to her, and made them shine.

Copper Basket