Life’s Treasures

I randomly opened a book and read a passage that provided me with a message. The book is by Paulo Coelho and these are his words: “It is said that all people who are happy have God within them. And that happiness could be found in a grain of sand from the desert, as the alchemist had said. Because a grain of sand is a moment of creation, and the universe has taken millions of years to create it. ‘Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,’ his heart said.”

Days before, I walked by the lake and something my mother had said to me the night before played over and over in my mind: “I may not see you and your brother again.” I stopped to admire the water’s surface sparkling with a thousand little suns. The warmth of the light touched my skin and I appreciated the sun and water and all that was around me. And yet this beauty was not enough to push away sadness and uncertainty.

In my home I have a wooden canoe figurine a friend purchased for me from an antique store. It reminds me of my father and is one of my treasures. My father had a few rowboats including a large canoe that he restored. He died years ago. I believe he has not actually left my life, but changed and is all around me. When I think about him I am not still grieving his loss; I’m comforted.

There are other items that I’ve collected or have been given. These objects I treasure but the true treasures are the memories and emotions connected to them, the people I care for and experiences that have great meaning.

We are all on a journey. I believe that finding joy around us in spite of sorrow and ever changing unpleasant circumstances is a great strength that can alter the course of our lives for the better.

One day I saw an osprey clutching a fish in its talons as it flew to an old tree at the edge of the water. It landed on a limb where its mate was perched. This was something I had never seen before in my life. I wish I had captured this moment on film, but I have something even better, a memory to carry inside of me. The happiness it evokes I can recall and feel and is mine forever.

As I walked around the lake, the sun was setting and its many reflections were softening. Robins and other songbirds made music. I focused on these sights and sounds and released the troubling headlines of the day. Just as I was about to move on I looked down and picked up a stone in the shape of a heart that perhaps a kindly spirit made me notice. As I held it in my hand I closed my fingers around it and thought of my mother. I’ll give this little treasure to her when we finally see each other once again.