Vol 13, Num 15 :: 2014.07.25 — 2014.09.04
A time to get and a time to lose, a time to keep and a time to cast away…
It seems to me, we have the getting and the keeping down pat. We have real problems when it comes to casting it away. My husband and I have been working at the casting away aspect of this verse for a while now.
Too much “stuff” and too many “treasures” have moved with our family…too many times. Before the last move we looked very carefully at each item. It evolved into a trip down memory lane, as stories were shared about the items, where they had come from and who had them originally. Then decisions needed to be made — to keep it, to give to charity, to gift it to someone or just to put it in the garbage.
My parents always said not to hold things too close or too tightly. They said, “It is the memory of that treasure that warms the heart.” Keeping their words in mind, we began gifting and sharing with others in a new way. For example, each of my parents’ nieces and nephews received a beautiful, hand-painted dinner plate. The note, enclosed with each plate and addressed to each recipient, read:
This is a strange gift. It is second hand. It was well-used. Yet, it is not worn out. The more it is put to use, the more value it will have. Sharing foods with friends and family feeds the body…but more importantly it nourishes the soul. This is a plate that was part of my parents’ set of china. You may remember it being at your place at family gatherings. Mother and dad entertained family and friends constantly, with great feasts and very simple, intimate meals. In a way, the plate served to bring those they cared for to their table, to their home and to their hearts. Their theme for any meal was, “If there’s any at all, there is enough to share” (Elizabeth Mullendore). I have included a little plate hanger, too. I thought you might find just the right spot to hang it. May it remind you that there is always enough food at your table for family and a friend or two.
Vi & Chuck
We have found great pleasure in sharing with friends and family in this unique way. The phone calls and notes from the recipients have warmed our hearts and lifted our spirits. This is something we continue to do as we work at letting go of our “stuff and treasures.”
Give as freely as you have received.