A good many of us had a treasure box in some form or another as a child. Mine was a medium size, plain wooden box with little outside decoration except for my name that was boldly printed on the top. I kept it in a secret place in my bedroom, under my bed. What I choose to put in my treasure box were things I deemed important to me, like a ribbon I was given for winning a race at school, a valentine I had gotten from my best friend, a particularly pretty flower I had pressed for a Brownies Badge or anything else I thought was pretty, special or a secret I wanted to keep.
I have long forgotten all that I had placed in that box except for one particular item. I loved anything that sparkled. Sometimes my mother would throw away a necklace or bracelet made of rhinestones. I would retrieve them from the trash and carefully pry out the fake gems, wrap them in my monogrammed handkerchief and gently place them in my box. They were a treasure to me.
As I grew, the treasure box became less of an interest to me but the box still remained under my bed. Every so often I would pull the box out and look through the contents, especially the fake gems. Sometimes I would add something to it but as time passed that became less of an interest. When I became a teenager I saw it as childish but I just couldn’t get rid of it. I believe I instinctively understood that it held memories I wasn’t ready to let go of.
Somewhere along the line the box disappeared. I’m not sure I really noticed its disappearance or thought much about my treasures until my parents had passed away and my two brothers and I were going through the family home to save, remove or sell what remained of their lives as husband and wife and parents to three children.
I never found the treasure box but the thought of it brought back so many memories of my life as child growing up in a rural town. Those memories came rushing back while I sat on my childhood bed still in the home I had grown up in. I could still see the box and the sparkling fake gems I would pull out from under its secret place and carefully lay on my bed. These kinds of memories bring on a very warm and comforting feeling with a sense of lose at the same time. I sat there with my memories for a very long time.
My brothers and their families had left for their homes leaving me alone in my childhood home. As a I walked around the near empty home, I remembered how odd it felt that so much time had passed and I had somehow been too busy to really notice. That is the moment I truly realized that life’s moments were, indeed, very precious (my true gemstones) and life needed to be well lived and appreciated. In a sense all life’s experiences, both large and small, are treasures that are locked away in our minds (our special treasure box) to be recalled when something happens that triggers a memory. I can’t say I have done a very good job since then regarding living the life as I had envisioned at that particular moment but what I did do was start consciously (or unconsciously) collecting memories in the treasure box in my mind.
As I did with my treasure box as a child, looking at the rhinestones in my wooden box, I find myself recalling some of my memories and remembering what it was like be at those particular moments and what made them special or important to me.
So here I am remembering these treasures, my memories, of day gone by, of my mom and dad and my two brothers all lessons we were taught and the many moments we shared. It is reminder to me to treasure my memories as I did the items I stored in my treasure box, to remember the lessons that each have to offer. There is one lesson I have been hard press to learn. That is be patient regarding my need to know if my efforts have had the desired or positive effect. Time has a way of giving me that answer.
So let me share some of my stories with you in my coming posts and I’ll let you be the judge.
Life’s journey continues…