It's been a year of loss for me. My life has been turned upside down and inside out and left me struggling to find firm ground to stand on. The life I worked so hard to build is gone and not likely to be restored to me. Many of my dreams are now lost to me, too. And I've lost best friends, both man and dog, that have gone on to their final rest.
Through it all, I've learned to focus on my faith and count my blessings more. I've learned to appreciate the small things in life that can fill your heart with gratitude for being alive - friends, both new and old, the beauty of nature and the healing power of art. And the small treasures I have gathered as I travel....small tokens that I can touch and look at to remember days that have filled my heart with gratitude for being alive.
Last year I traveled to Melbourne, Australia. A trip of a lifetime to a country I fell instantly in love with. A trip that brought me new, lifelong friends and lasting memories that changed my life in so many ways. So as I was leaving Melbourne, I bought a teacup set in the airport to commemorate my trip. A bit pricey for me, but a thing of beauty, decorated with lavender and bees, of fine bone china, complete with a saucer, lid, cup and strainer. An avid tea drinker, I justified the price by imagining sipping tea in a pool of sunlight while reading the paper at my kitchen table, dreaming of Australia.
In reality, when I returned, I put the cup in a safe spot and looked at it often, but rarely used it for tea , wanting to keep the memories safe from harm. The cup sat on the top shelf of my cabinet, a place not even the cat has found his way into, looking so beautiful and so full of a perfect vacation in a far away place. Until today.
Today, I reached into the cabinet to remove a butter dish. Somehow the dish caught the edge of the cup. I saw it falling. I let go of the butter dish and grabbed to catch the cup, but together they fell to the floor, the heavier butter dish shattering the china cup into many small pieces. And I burst into tears because it was lost and just one more loss to add to the load and cried for the unfairness of one more loss to live through.
But after I started breathing again, I realized a cup is just a cup. An inanimate object. Beautiful, but empty. And it languished on that sterile shelf, instead of being well-used, for fear I would lose it, too. I realized how silly I was to put so much value in a "thing". Because the memories I so cherish live in only in my mind and heart and can never be broken or lost. They are there within me and meant to be examined and cherished often, not kept locked away for fear of losing them.
But still, even broken, I could not bear to throw the cup away. So I carefully glued the pieces together. There's a few holes here and there...it will no longer hold water. So what better purpose for it now than to house a small primrose to lighten up the winter. After all, the primrose should thrive, surrounded by beauty and love and warm memories of down under.