It's crossed my mind a half dozen times this week. And then my online writers' group posed the same question: in the event of a disaster, what five things would you grab from your house? Since the question was posed to a group of over 500 writers, the angle we were asked to consider was what five professional things we'd save. But since this is my blog, and not my yahoo group, I'm going to take out the "p" word.
I'm imagining a box. It's probably going to have to be a big box, because one of my items--and yes, I'm counting it as one--is the distressed end table/box to the right of my couch. Within that box are family pictures dating from the early 1900s through to my son's graduation this last June. So don't challenge me on this. The end table goes in the box. And since the end table is just around the corner from the staircase, and I've got two framed photo montages hanging right there (one for Zac and one for Tera, showing their growth from birth to 18 and 12, respectively)--and technically, we're still talking photos--I might as well slip those frames in too.
Next, I'm placing my Bible in that giant box. Now, as one of my writer cohorts pointed out, the Bible is readily available online. Bibles are easy to replace--at least in my part of the world. But I could never replace the fifteen years of notes I have in my wide-margined Bible. The book of Romans, for instance, is awash with color. It's so covered with arrows and asterisks and exclamation points and regular old words that some pages have literally not another spare inch of white space to offer up. Some pages are barely clinging to the spine. So I want my Bible.
Without question, I have to take my laptop. Not only does it contain my books and all the correspondence related to those books, but it's bulging with novel ideas. I've half a town captured in those files, populated with an almost complete cast of characters, all pulled from the character sketches I've been collecting for a dozen years. The men from Rotten Ralph's are in there. So is the traveling boy, and Charlie, and Lillian. Not to mention, my laptop is loaded with recipes. I mean loaded. And many are my own concoctions. Recipes ... and 2000 of my favorite songs ... and more pictures. Move over, end table. The laptop is coming in.
And then, I think I need one of my grandmother's teacups and saucers from the big cedar chest in the living room. She loved collecting those cups, and every time I push something aside in that chest, in a quest to find the turkey platter or the gravy boat or a tablecloth, and I see one of those delicate, floral-patterned cups, her memory comes to visit. While I'm digging in the chest and selecting a just-right cup, if one of my great-grandmother's doilies or a long-ago Kismet score card happened to fall into the teacup and take a ride to the box, who's to notice?
And lastly, because it is a tangible reminder to me that God sees all the tucked-away longings and losses we carry, and sometimes brings the balm we most need, I'd put my mother's note in the box. I keep it on the shelf above my writing desk. As I think about it, her diary is right there, right next to her framed note. Might as well keep those two together.
Some of you are counting. But I say, if you have time to stand there while I salvage pieces of my life and count the items in my hand, you have time enough to help me grab five more.
So now it's your turn. Here's a giant box for you. What will you fill it with?
Labels: mindful living