In the late 1990s, I spent one day a week visiting with and helping an elderly friend named Lucy. She lived alone in a big colonial house near the city and each time I arrived, I’d find her waiting in her favorite wingback chair, all dressed up, wearing a big smile.
Lucy was always sitting on the porch. She lived in this window-lined room because the sunlight gave her hope. Next to her chair stood a small TV table – the center of her world – a place filled with the accoutrements that kept her daily life in order. There was a crystal water carafe with a glass that fit neatly over the top, her favorite pen nestled inside a tiny notebook with scribbled pages of important things to remember, a sterling silver magnifying glass ready to spotlight the fine print of newspapers and pill bottles, and a well-worn address book that linked her to the world through hand-written letters and telephone calls.
My father’s command central was his desk’s top drawer. Here he stored the nail kit that kept his fingers in line, his favorite pencils (#2s sharpened and ready for action), helpful news and magazine clippings waiting for the right eyes, and his checkbook which may or may not have been balanced to the penny. I can’t remember.
This morning, as I settled into my own favorite chair to write, I thought about them both as I glanced at the table next to my seat. I stared at the colored uni-ball pens that glide words over pages in my journal, the hand cream that smells like spring, the antique clock that keeps the beat of breaths during meditation, and the small handheld calculator because I am my father’s daughter and I like to keep a manual adding device nearby.
These are the tiny anchors that keep us grounded, tethered to the daily activities that define our lives. What do they say about us, these objects of affection that live in handy, familiar places? What tales do they leave behind?
I remember my Dad and Lucy with such fondness as I link our lives together at this moment. We carry forward pieces of our past like breadcrumbs that lead us back to the people and stories that shape who we become.
I pay attention to these details today because they form the lines that paint us into existence. What do you keep on your table, by your bedside, or in your desk drawer? While they may seem like everyday ordinary items, they may be in fact be hidden treasures someday – lifelines to those we love. 💝
PS – There are still some spaces left in our next “Self Care by the Sea” retreat at the end of April. If you’re ready for an adventure, you can learn more about this exciting weekend by visiting, here.