i was rummaging through the attic this weekend, and stumbled across an old jewlery box. in it, among other items, were two stones with words carved on them -
i don't recall when i received them or from whom. but, i know i've had them for quite a while because the box was old, dusty, and had items from the early nineties in it.
i have been in the process of cleaning out our attic a bit recently (our house is small and there's little-to-no storage space, so it all invariably ends up in the attic). ordering the chaos, or at least trying, and simplifying along the way. especially since our home is now a bit overrun (joyously so) with our little apple cheeks' many toys and books.
as i've done so, i keep asking the questions - do we really need this? do we ever use this? how does this enrich our lives? and, making the decision to sell, donate, or trash, depending on the applicable circumstances. sometimes it takes a lot to let something go. other times, it's quite cathartic to just get rid of it.
i decided to bring the "courage" stone downstairs from the attic to keep. the stone entitled "happiness" - being a loftier goal and all, anyhow - remains tightly enshrined in a box in the attic for now.
i guess i brought "courage" down because it's hard to be courageous on a daily basis - it requires both the objective strength of will and the subjective strength of faith to master it.
and, it isn't always easy to readily identify individuals who are profiles in courage to set an example. there are public ones to be sure - such as the firefighters who walk into burning buildings to save lives. but, sometimes, in our day-to-day lives it doesn't always seem like such heroic individuals are in our midst.
so, that stone got me thinking about the number of people in my personal sphere who have demonstrated true courage in the face of their own adversities: from mothers-to-be who have overcome multiple miscarriages to try again and those who have made significant life changes in the face of serious illness to those who have confronted abuse in their past and refused to let it define their present and those who have handled the decision-making details surrounding the loss of a loved one and all that entails - there are plenty of individuals i know personally who are courageous on a daily basis and set an example for me and for all of those who are blessed to know them.
and, it prompted me to think about the degree to which i exhibit courage (or don't). i've needed to summon a decent amount of courage recently for a variety of reasons, like the courage to confront and overcome my fears about the need for a change in my professional path to dedicate more time and energy to emma's daily care.
but, i've failed to be courageous in other ways.
so, i keep the stone as a daily reminder to summon courage in the face of challenges. and, to treasure those many in our lives who have demonstrated courage in their own ways.
to each of you, thank you.