Things That Matter

In the hustle bustle of our everyday life, we lose sight of things that matter, even if they are right in front of us.  I was attempting to clean up my office area in the library/cat grotto. It is one of those tasks that never really ends, just begins – again and again. I get it mostly done then find something I meant to read or something I want to ponder or write and there goes an hour or two. By the time I’ve come back to the task, I’ve lost momentum and the remaining mess is shuffled to a corner until tomorrow or mañana, whichever comes first.

Along the way, I rediscover treasures. They are treasures of the heart. Part of the beauty of having a special place of my own to write, read, and think is that I surround myself with what my husband calls stuff. Photos, cherished books, posters, artwork, and objets d’art that have meaning for me. If piled all together they wouldn’t have the market value of a head of lettuce.

On the wall above my desk is a homemade birthday card from my grandson when he was eight or nine. Homemade in every respect. He made the paper and then printed the greeting on it. It reads Happy Birthday Grandma. You have a heart of pure – there he glued some gold fragments in the middle of the paper. It is signed Love Henry. There is no currency that can equal the value of that piece of handmade paper.  

On the wall next to it is one of Ben’s Bells that I found one evening when I was out with friends. It is a pay-it-forward symbol of intentional kindness. The story behind it is of a two-year-old boy who died suddenly in 2002. His grieving mother and family began making ceramic wind chimes to heal their grief. They were joined by others who helped. Four hundred bells were made and distributed around Tucson in random places on the first anniversary of Ben’s death. The one I found was hanging on a tree branch in a restaurant parking lot – it says “Be Kind”. Thousands of people joined the effort to make and distribute the bells. The movement grew as a non-profit educational program of kindness in schools and businesses all over the world. Every school I’ve been to around Oro Valley has a kindness program with the Ben’s Bells logo at the center of it. The green Be Kind symbol is displayed on school walls as a reminder. Awards are given at the end of the year to students who have displayed kindness toward others.

Those are just a couple of items that make my fortune more valuable than gems, or gold, or silver.