It’s been a quiet week at Mama’s Empty Nest. We’re still ensconced in the winter season and snow continues to blanket the earth. Somehow, snowfall makes everything seem more hushed, more silent, more subdued. Even the wild creatures that visit the plot of land that we call home must be huddled down, burrowed in, and waiting for warmer weather as evidenced by the lack of animal tracks in our yard.
In the stillness and tranquility of my home this morning, when the only sounds that reach my ear are the refrigerator singing its humming song and the furnace kicking in to shoot some heated air up through our vents, I contemplate. Winter proves a good season for doing so.
This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is treasure. Treasure. We all have our idea of how to define treasure. And the old saying comes to mind – one’s man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
It seems we humans continually either search for treasure or attempt to acquire treasure for most of our lives. For some, material possessions are the treasures they seek. That might be a special piece of glittering jewelry given by a loved one or handed down from one family member to another. Some folks count their abundant bank balance as a treasure while others always wish for more to stockpile. Silver, gold, and precious gems come to mind as treasures held in high esteem.
I wander through the quietness of my home and glance at items in each room and am reminded of a quote I recently read by an architect named Le Corbusier (1887-1965): “The home should be the treasure chest of living.”
My home does resemble a treasure chest, at least to me. My eyes fall upon treasures here and there. This. This is a treasure. A piece of jewelry created in a far-off land and bestowed upon me when my soldier husband came back after a year-long assignment halfway across the world over 30 years ago.
There on the china cabinet shelf in the dining room. Those are treasures. Beloved items passed down to me from my parents and my husband’s parents. Items that belonged to our grandparents. Surely these are treasures.
And there. The piano gracing the living room, the instrument I longed for and we saved to purchase all those many years ago. A source of beautiful music and hours of enjoyment. A musical treasure for certain.
Yes, there are many treasures in my treasure chest of a home. Physical things. Tangible treasures. Perhaps not much in monetary worth, yet valued and cherished by me. But as a believer in Jesus Christ, I’m reminded what He told us about earthly treasures.
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” ~ Matthew 6:19-21
So yes, my worn copy of the Bible, with passages underlined and starred, with notes scribbled in the margins. God’s Word surely is a treasure to me. Yet, as much as I cherish my personal copy of His Word, that treasure could be replaced with a new one. And much of God’s Word I have hidden in my heart.
So what precious riches which I’ve carefully wrapped in love and stored away into my treasure box could I live without? Truthfully, all of them. Yes, I would be saddened to lose them but they are merely things.
There is one treasure, however, I value more highly than any other. And it’s not stored in a jewelry box, a glass shelf, or on my desk. It’s not a tangible item adorning my treasure chest home. Instead, my treasure is stored away in the recesses of my mind.
Memories. Those are the treasures I cling to most. They appear in my mind as I survey each room of my home searching for hidden treasure. Each item I spy prompts a memory. My eyes linger on one photo on the family room fireplace mantel. It is my favorite photo of my children and it brings back memories as if they just happened yesterday.
The photo taken when they were young and we lived in the Pacific Northwest sits inside a frame that reads: “Children are special. They grow and change. Children question everything. Children laugh, frown, grin, pout, and smile. Children give meaning to silly things, small things, big things. They give meaning to us. They teach us to be open again, to appreciate everything, and take nothing for granted. Children teach us what’s important because sometimes we forget. They show us what it means to be young at heart. Children are our future. Children are life.”
Surely, my children are my treasures as well as my husband, my family, and my friends. But life and all of its memories is one of the most precious treasures we can ever possess.
“Memory is the treasure house of the mind wherein the monuments thereof are kept and preserved.” ~ Thomas Fuller, Clergyman 1608-1661