When I travel, I always write notes to my family before I go. It’s usually thoughts from what is going on in our lives at that time. The treasure chest where I keep them is really just a plastic bin on the floor of my closet, but everyone knows it is there. That’s all that matters. If they do forget, a lifelong friend has permission to drag it out and leave it where it will be found…in time.
There are two books in there. One is a children’s book: A Few of My Favorite Things, from “The Sound of Music”. It is a song I have sung to every young child I have known, at least once, and I hope it resonates as traditions should. It is about being both afraid and comforted, by remembering a few of my favorite things.
The other book is The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch. It is a fun and spirited way to LIVE life. We share the same vision about gifts. There really is just one. That gift of time.
So I leave the notes behind, because I believe nothing should be left unsaid, and yes, I am notorious for exactly that. In fact, I buried a $20 bill with one wish; that they will share a coffee and a Pink Champagne cupcake. I don’t tell them that. They will know.
Why then do I need to leave a note if it has already been said? Seems kind of funny, I guess, but it is important to me and I think there is something powerful in the written word.
- A piece of paper is something to hold; to cherish. The words on them are specific, the penmanship is familiar, and is unique to the person who penned it. And to the person who read it.
- It is for encouragement. It is a time to rejoice and reflect about what’s good in life. I think a note can also be a reminder that even if today seemed like an uphill battle; tomorrow will come. The sun will rise. Sounds redundant. It is what it is; hope.
- It tells where you will feel close to me. It is tucked away in a drawer or in a pocket, and it will remain with you, for as long as it needs to be. I write about places we have visited, and places that have brought a sense of calm and spirituality to our lives. New England beaches from summer’s past will take you back to laughter, ice cream cones, and large family gatherings. Home will still be brimming with stories of new chapters and growing families. For me…I have learned about a spirituality in Sedona that cannot be explained, for now. That is for you to learn…in time.
Yes, there is power in the written word. Today it will tell them; you are on my mind.
The gift of time.