Saturday, May 11, 2013

Broken Treasures – Accepting What is and Moving On

Broken Treasures – Accepting What is and Moving On

When I arrived home from plant shopping this afternoon my husband met me as I pulled into the garage with a grim look on his face and told me we’d had a disaster that I needed to see. That, at least, calmed my concerns that tragedy had befallen a loved one.  I moved towards the door with trepidation thinking flood, fire or a dead cat hanging from a chandelier.  Instead, I saw that the hand carved teak tableau that had hung above our fireplace had fallen and crushed the treasures displayed on the mantle into shards.

I was numb. Among the shattered treasures was the hand painted plate that the Mayor of the Commune de Castellebate in Italy had presented to us to commemorate our wedding. Not only was the plate a beautiful reminder of our fairytale wedding by the Tyrrhenian Sea, but also it was a constant symbol of our good fortune that made me feel warm whenever I looked at it.

The Thai woodcarving I’d purchased at the night market in Chang Mai around 1990 and hand carried it aboard several airplanes to ensure its safety. I’d found the porcelain Chinese temple guardian of a warrior on a flying horse in an alley in Taipei and spent years ensuring it was always displayed on a safe surface where it would have little likelihood of being knocked over. The treasures that my husband and I display have meaning to at least one of us, because we recall a fond memory of time, place or person associated with each item.

But, my spiritual growth has brought me to a place where I can let go of these precious treasures without wallowing in despair. They are just things.  The incident does not represent an omen of ill fortune.  The broken plate does not mean a broken marriage. Perhaps, the Universe has decided we no longer needed the training wheel of a plate to remind us what we mean to one another. Maybe, it is time to find a beautiful landscape painting to hang over the fireplace; or, it will give us incentive to enlarge one of my spouse’s works or art, frame it and display it in a place or prominence in our home.  Perhaps the loss of items from the past will help me to focus on this moment, on today.

A few years ago I would have been devastated, shed an abundance of tears, called my parents sobbing, and wallowed in self-pity and mourned the loss of these things. Today, I can accept they are just things.  It is the people and other sentient beings in our lives that truly matter. Truly, I am relieved it wasn’t a dead cat handing from a chandelier. 

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