My daughter just completed a week of Art Camp. It was five magical days of creativity and self-discovery designed to unleash the playfulness of tween girls and build the self-esteem and confidence girls of her age need to cultivate.
A part of the required pre-work was to collect little trinkets she could use to create an journal of encouragement. The idea was to use special objects (e.g. a button from Grandma’s sweater, a sea shell found on a family vacation, etc.) that would inspire her and celebrate special people and memories.
With Dad out-of- town, she and I began the hunt for the tiny objects that she could use. What a journey we began!
As we went through her drawers and countless treasure stashes, the conversations and memories poured like a sweet Spring rain. Our little project turned into an 8-hour marathon of storytelling, laughter and hugs. Each discovery led to another box or drawer; before the day ended, we had a mountain of candidates for her journal and a mess strung from one end of the house to the other. It didn’t matter; the special time our quest afforded was worth the hours I’d have to spend righting everything.
I found the airplane tickets from the flight where my husband and I first met, a short 1.5 hour trip that began the most incredible journey of a life. In a box of old greeting cards was a note written by a friend, offering encouragement and the use of her cottage during the final days of my Dad’s life. An uncashed check, the first love note my daughter ever wrote, a menu from a special wedding anniversary dinner… Box after box and drawer after drawer, the moments of my life poured forth. Amidst the mess and clutter were the remnants of a blessed life.
Don’t forget the little moments
They’re the ones that mean the most
When the way home seems so far away
Take ‘em out and hold them close
And take a picture with your father
‘Cause one day he’ll be gone
And don’t forget to fill an old shoebox
Full of things to look back on
–Chris Young The Shoebox
Everyone should have a box full of memories. A treasure to periodically be unearthed and used to rediscover the mosaic of your life. More importantly, that box should be shared, talked about and those moments relived. The tears of joy and sadness it will evoke are the stitches on a fabric of a life worth celebrating.
If you haven’t cleaned out your drawers and secret nooks in a while, I challenge you to set aside a day to embark upon the return to your past. Bring a special loved one along on the journey. Don’t rush the magic it brings and relive each special moment. A life blessed with outrageous moments is worth revisiting.