Thursday, January 11, 2007

hidden treasure

Have you even been in a Salvation Army store or a flea market, walking around aimlessly, looking for nothing in particular, visually glutted with life's castaways when suddenly, a glint of something, a gleam on a table and you see it. There is that piece of Depression glass you've been scouring antique shops and shows to find, mint condition, sitting casually as you please among dirty plastic dolls and broken toys. You tremble as you reach for it, trying to look calm and unmoved as the 50 cent sticker tells you the seller has no clue of the value of this object. Who doesn't love the stories of priceless paintings tucked away in an attic or basement. I'm still looking for the missing Caravaggio in the Wilkes-Barre Sally's!

Life has so afforded me these moments of unparalleled serendipity lately, amidst the moldy cellar junk of circumstances, the endless scratching to find a bit of hope lying on the ground like a crumpled dollar bill. Sometimes it takes a moment, the time to pick up what promises to be a half-buried treasure, brushing off the dirt, running it under water, examining it more carefully. I used to live in Southern California, and remember so well loving to walk the beach after a storm. All sorts of shells and drift wood lay on the grey shore, washed up from the churning of the wind and waves. One day I spied a perfect urchin, like a mermaid's hair ornament. I picked it up and the perfection of symmetry and beauty of design took my breath away. I waded in the shallows and put my hand in the water. Tiny starfish climbed aboard with their little suction cup arms and I had a living, starry ring on my hand of the most delicate red and pink.

I'm finding certain things in my life now, as I brush away the dirt of my own fears and mistrust to see the beauty of someone else's regard and love for me shining brightly. I'm afraid to hold too tightly or try to cash in my treasure. That I may learn to simply love the moment and value beauty for it's own sake is all such a thing requires.


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