Friday, May 18, 2012


What makes something a treasure?  Or a better way to ask is, what makes a treasure?  Implying of course that it doesn't need to be a "something."  I live and breathe other people's treasures.  People come in the shop, some walk around sort of creepy, and eventually they ask..."Do you ever see anything, or hear anything around all this old stuff?"  I stare at them like I don't know what there're getting to and they finally say it.  "Like ghosts or spirits or stuff..."  Many of them proceed to tell me that it's a little creepy, but cool, looking at all this stuff that somebody once thought a treasure. 

See, a treasure doen't have to be expensive.  Doesn't have to be pretty, valuable or even be understood by anyone else.  The only thing that a treasure needs to be one, is the ability to touch you, take you somewhere.  That somewhere doesn't always have to been warm and fuzzy.  One of my treasures, is dried roses from my mother's funeral.  Not warm, not fuzzy, just vivid. 

It's hard to hang on to treasures.  We move, we downsize, we clean out.  We can't keep it all.  That's what antique stores are for.  We're just full of all the treasures that somebody couldn't keep.  I'm rather pragmatic so I don't get all sappy about stuff coming into the store that looks rich in memory.  I feel rather honored.  Honored that I can be the keeper of the treasure until someone walks in, is stricken by  memory or hope and takes a much loved treasure home. 

I love the story of the stuff.  Sometimes when I don't know the story, I make one up.  Recently a bonnet was passed from one treasure keeper to another.  The new owner and I made up the young woman who wore it, made it, crossed the prairie with it, carried her children wearing it, probably even burried one with it neatly bound to her head.  We loved the story we created and became in love with the woman who wore it. Treasures have a way of touching you to others.  That's probably what  the people who ask about ghosts are feeling.  They too love the story, they just don't know they can make them up. 

The Bible has lots to say about treasure.  Bottom line is, don't hang on to any of it too tightly, because you want to keep your heart open for the Great Treasure that lies ahead.  Treasure the love that a thing brings, treasure the friend that it reminds you of, treasure the memory and then make up a story.  I treasure being the keeper of other people's treasures, and sometimes I fantasize that people who have passed are happy knowing their special treasure is being temporarily cared for by me until it's new owner passes by and feels the calling to come in. 

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