I recently unearthed a treasure – finding cherished pieces of my past. Life has been so busy, in fluctuation, feeling buried in the daily demands, that I had not thought of these mementos in a very long time. I came across a special little notebook given to me years ago in which I’ve jotted notes and tucked photos, handwritten cards and other inspirational items. It sat on my writing desk in our previous home and I would thumb through it often – it always made me smile. But it has been a year since I packed it away; I had forgotten it even existed.
Now, as I stare at the gifts hidden inside, I feel a sense of remembering – my creative spirit, my love of art and the written word. And so I pause to soak in all of the emotions, memories and joys contained within these precious pieces of my history. Each item could be an entire story in itself. They inspire me to move forward more consciously, more intentionally.
- There’s the photo of me as a baby with my Grandfather whom I miss dearly – he is playing on the floor with me, he adored his grandchildren and this picture captures that perfectly.
- There’s the handwritten note from my dear friend who has always served as a source of inspiration and whose distinct, familiar handwriting reminds me of our twenty five plus years of friendship.
- Two significant addresses in my life – the street I grew up on in Louisville and the building here in Iowa that held special family memories and was sadly destroyed by fire shortly before we moved here.
- There’s the note card painted by an artist friend, her notes were always full of encouraging, kind words. I was blessed by her in so many ways, I shared her story here.
- A scrap of paper that was written by my son several years ago saying “at beach” – one of our daily notes when the kids and I head out to the beach for an early morning adventure in our beloved Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.
- A picture from my 9th birthday when I received Brady Bear, my favorite stuffed animal that saw me all the way through college and became my daughter’s as a young girl.
- The family portrait taken by my talented photographer friend on an old bridge near her home – my kids seem so young. Looking back at this time in our life makes all of the changes of the past year especially evident.It’s true what author Gretchen Rubin says, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
- The moment captured when the namesake of the David Owsley Museum of Art entered the Museum’s Grand Opening Gala I had helped to plan – his praise bringing an anxious smile to my face. Even at the age of 90, David’s generosity and love of the arts inspires me.
- The photocopied page of encouragement given to me at one of the most difficult times in my life – “If you learn to trust Me – really trust Me – with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My Peace.” (Jesus Calling)
This little book holds so many memories from my earliest days, to most joyful moments, to the simple gifts of a handwritten note – all meaningful threads woven to create the rich tapestry of my life.
The Universe certainly has a way of knowing when you need a gift most – this timing was divinely inspired. In gratitude I accept these reminders of my true, authentic self. It is as if I had tucked this treasure away for this specific moment, knowing that I would need these memories – reminders of my authentic self – right now at this place in my life.
Change is good and life is amazing, full of opportunities and growth. I‘m grateful to be a product of these varied experiences; this notebook contains a message to my soul – reminding me what is truly valuable in this life:
The love of family
The gift of friendship
The importance of encouraging words
The simple joys in life.