Do we really own the things we possess or do they sometimes in some way own us? We attach so much of who we are and our memories to objects that we “possess”, so that when a certain vase is accidentally broken it becomes us who is shattered. Should it really matter in the greater scheme of things that the vase is broken? Nothing else has really changed…the memories that we’ve attached to this object remain, but the only difference is the object that represents those memories is now gone.

I live in a house that was built in 1830. There have been approximately five families who lived here before me. As I look around the rooms there are contributions that were made by those families that still remain to this day. I too will make my contributions to this house, but at some point the house will be passed on, hopefully, to someone else. I cannot help but feel sometimes like a care-taker…even though I am the owner. I accept that with a smile and I hope that the future families of this house receive my contributions as joyfully as I have embraced the ones from the past.

Through the years we all accumulate objects and possessions that we hold dear to our hearts. It could be something that we came across on a holiday or something left behind from a relative who has since deceased. Yes they do matter to us for the memories they hold, but if we lose them somehow, do the memories disappear? It’s wonderful to have things that matter to us, but it’s also important not to allow those items to start “possessing” us. We attach so much importance to them that we start to forget what they really represent. It’s nice to have nice things, but when we are gone, what happens to them? Do we pass them on to our children or loved ones and hopefully they enjoy them as much as we did, or will they see no value in what we treasured? Is an object just an object…in reality, yes. What changes that is what we attach to it.

In the past month across America many people have lost in some cases all their possessions, through floods, tornadoes, and the ramifications of El Nino. Life’s accumulations gone in a matter of moments. We know the images…heartbroken people on television screens, searching for reasons to rebuild. In most cases, the story ends with the person saying “We may have lost all we have, but thank God we are alive”. Some are not so lucky…they feel the true sense of loss…someone has died.

At the end of the day, all we truly have is each other. The relationships we have built up over the years that mean so much to us. We still have our memories, even though we may not have the objects. But what matters most are the lives we have touched and the others who have touched us….that is priceless

Take the time to love,

Jennifer Avalon
© 1998 Jennifer Avalon

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