Today was the day. She had waited her entire six-year-old life for this day.
Butterflies danced in her belly as she tied back her waist length (sort of crimpy) blonde hair into a tight ponytail. Slicked back and tight with no wisps, that’s how she liked it.
With hair secured, that was long enough in the mirror for today. She bounded down the stairs in her heavy-footed sort of way, the thunder echoing behind her with confirmation that she would never be a ballerina. She never would want that anyway.
The bounding ended in the kitchen and was met with smells of scrambled eggs and the popping sounds of bacon in the skillet. Mother was there, tending the bacon, letting the eggs cool next to the stove.
Mother didn’t need her eyes to know there was new life in the room, the elephants racing down the stairs gave away that secret. Mother took one glance at the little blond and with a bend in her brow asked, “How many days in a row have you worn that shirt?”
“I don’t know,” came the sheepish reply, “probably just two.”
How she hated that question. Why did it matter? Favorite shirts were meant to be worn every day.
Mother gave a smirk and returned to her sizzling sow. She knew fair well that the shirt had spent more than one night on the little girl’s floor. Oh well, this was not a battle for today.
Father sat at the wobbly kitchen table, pipe between his teeth, the daily news between his fingers and a smile between his nose and chin. He knew the little girl loved the shirt. He knew the mother loved clean, pressed shirts.
He knew this was not a battle for today.
Today was Treasure Day.
“How’d you sleep, baby girl?” he asked as he beckoned her to his knee.
She needed no beckoning because she was already on her way there, but first, she stopped for two pieces of bacon. One she stuck between her teeth, the over saved for Father.
She handed him his piece and climbed aboard his sturdy lap, her arm finding its resting place around his neck.
“Barely slept… I mean,” she stuttered, “slept fine, Father,” Was her reply.
She hoped her answer sounded adult enough to impress both of her parents. Only a child couldn’t sleep the night before Christmas and today was bigger than Christmas. She feared her answer didn’t do the trick when Mother resounded that she had better be sent to bed early tonight to accommodate for the missing slumber.
How she hated to be sent to bed, and early at that! Only children were sent to bed.
She met her mother’s idea with a stoic stare, mentally notating that she would never let a slip like that happen again.
Her father read the explicit silence and gave her a squeeze, awaking her from her the resolve. The emotion vanished into butterflies again.
Today was Treasure Day.
“I say you shouldn’t have much sleep the day before a day like today. It’s best to pack in all of the minutes of anticipation as a person can handle.” said Father.
“Anyway, Baby Girl,” he continued, “I made you something. I figured you could use it to hold your treasure.”
He reached for an object hidden underneath other sections of the Daily News, sliding the concealing papers and the bulge beneath them towards her.
Somehow between the shirt, bacon and early bedtime she had missed the obvious hill of papyrus words on the table… maybe she could blame the butterflies for distracting her.
“I made it in the shop last week.” he stated. “Hope you like it.”
He said all this with a smidgen of pride at his construct and excitement of creating a gift well received.
Mother, even with one lingering piece of bacon over the fire, stopped to witness the unveiling.
The not yet adult at the table felt her palms begin to sweat a little, they did that sometimes. Whatever was under those papers was going to hold her treasure for years to come, maybe forever.
Rapid fire questions inundated in her mind as she slowly reached for the papers.
Would it be too big? Or, too small? What if it looked like something a child would own? Heaven forbid.
A moment of crinkling paper later and a couldn’t-be-helped shriek of, “Oh Father! It’s perfect, I love it! Thank you!” escaped her lips.
That little genuine squeal made his heart swell. That was all he needed. That was all he ever needed.
She didn’t yet examine her new object but used her other arm to encircle his neck in hearty thanks. Even during the short embrace, she somewhat laughed inside herself.
What was she so worried about? Of course, it would be perfect. Father knew her better than anyone.
Mother smiled and then returned to her bacon… “Well, this piece is a little over done.” she thought.
What the papers had concealed now revealed a pretty plane, wooden box. It was made of fine pine scraps, simple hinges, the tiniest of legs and no (childish) embellishments.
The craftsmanship was pristine, as was the practice and expectation of Father’s work. The smell… Oh, the smell of Father’s wood shop he was sure to leave in the box. That smell would linger and stay true, longer than the life of the box.
She scooped up the box and headed to her chair as Mother finished laying out their breakfast. She could barely get the eggs to her mouth, due to the distraction of the fine edges and her careful inspection of every aspect of that box. There was even some lingering sawdust in the inside corners.
Perfect! Never been used and made especially for me… my Father knows exactly what I like.
The rest of the breakfast was mostly silent, except for the clatter of dishes and the mastication of meat and eggs.
The little girl’s thoughts wandered to what the rest of the day would behold. She clutched her box with white knuckles while she ate.
Mother’s thoughts went where they always went, to the duties of the day. She thought little of this Treasure Day as opposed to any other Treasure Day, especially her own.
She did not have a special Treasure Day, nor did she find her treasure all that treasurable. She had had many encasements, some she had discarded, some were broken by others, some she broke herself.
She now kept her treasure in a tea pot above the pantry. Out of sight. Out of mind.
Father too, didn’t think much of his treasure, though he did think much of this Treasure Day.
His treasure had been battered and as he would say, reduced, as the battle axes of life took their turns doing their worst.
His treasure he still carried with him, in what today would be compared to a metal cigarette case. It wasn’t much to look at. It was old, dented scratched and discolored. Still he carried it, just the same.
Treasure day happened once a year and only once in a lifetime. It was the day that every six-year-old was taken to the community church to receive the objects of their own unique value.
These objects were to be kept near at all times. They were to be cherished and protected. They were to be honored and respected.
These objects defined the adult the child would become. These objects determined the value the child was now and would always be.
Some children received many small objects, some received fewer, larger objects. Every once in awhile, a child only received one or two objects. Though, quantity was really no factor in value or perception.
No two objects were quite the same, some of them quite unlike others. The little girl remembered that last year, Henry, a friend one year her senior, had received an object that was almost viscous. She had never seen anything quite like that object before. She didn’t think others had either. Henry was delighted by his unique treasure, though she couldn’t tell if the object itself brought him the delight, or the fact that the attention gained from the object’s obscurity pleased him more.
After receiving the objects of treasure, the children would keep them in encasements, typically crafted for the day by the children’s parents. Teachers often dreaded the days after Treasure Day because no attention could be assuaged away from little eyes beaming at their newly acquired objects, nor any order achieved amidst the unendorsed show-and-tell.
Everyone responded uniquely with their treasure. Some liked to keep their treasure in a prominent place as a conversation piece or even on their person. Some didn’t care to speak about their treasure unless asked. Some insisted that everyone look and feel and admire their treasure on a continual basis. Some only looked at their treasure in private.
The rules surrounding the objects were quite vague and open to much opinion. The only rules of which most everyone could agree were that the objects must remain with or near you at all times and they could not be traded. Also, as more of an etiquette rule, you should refrain from saying anything negative about another person’s object, although, that rule was typically only remembered when speaking with someone new. In familiar company, well… thoughts were made familiar.
No one actually enforced those rules, however, they could not really be broken, not for long anyway. There was a legend in the town of a girl (though not defined by gender but rather by rebellion) named Korah. From the time she was born, everyone knew that she was a troubled soul and not likely to be tamed.
Upon her Treasure Day, she received multiple objects, and all were curious to know what this horrid child might receive. She quickly scanned her objects, picked one out and quickly tied the rest into a self-constructed handkerchief pouch and shoved it into her pocket. There was no denying that Korah had received several objects that day because the public ceremony attracted every seeing eye for miles around.
Korah must not have been much impressed with any other object than the one she choose because she only ever shared that one object, and oh, how that object made everyone, adults and children alike, laugh. The laughter made most everyone forget that she may have other objects too, but if she was asked for permission to view the others, she’d furrow her brow in confusion and say she had only received the one object. While the townspeople knew that couldn’t be true, the joviality gained from that singular object was enough for them to accept the answer. Nothing more to their benefit would be gained from further investigation or prodding.
Eventually, Korah had the town divided as to whether she did actually receive multiple objects or indeed, just the one. Though arguments were typically tabled by the gossip of her latest rebellion or the mention of that one humorous object.
As Korah’s stature matured, so did her rebellion. She hated the town, the people in it, and the very dirt below her feet. She probably hated herself as well, though no one ventured close enough to tell.
One day, Korah left the town without a word. Some wondered if she had been taken, others thought she may have died on a road between the villages, a few thought that maybe she had the courage to actually run away. No one really cared, though. She wasn’t worth the trouble to try to regain her again. Yes, her object was funny, but how much is a belly laugh really worth?
A year or so later, Korah returned to the town. She didn’t speak to anyone, nor anyone to her. Onlookers were astonished and bewildered to see her again and alive at that.
She looked different. Sullen. Skinny. The light had left her eyes.
She marched through the town, undistracted and as if nothing could coax her gaze from the ground in front of her. She walked into a residence that she once called home, rummaged though a drawer in a room where she once slept, drew from it a handkerchief pouch she once owned. She then turned and retraced her steps back out of the town without a spoken word.
This time, though, she did not shove that handkerchief in her pocket. No, she paraded it through the town, with an air of achievement that her final deception was unveiled. The handkerchief screamed, “You silly beggars, you! I made you believe I only received one object on my day. You fools! So easy to deceive. I traded you a laugh for the truth and you gladly, yes knowingly accepted.”
A smirk was all she said.
No one really liked to talk about the Korah story, as would be expected. No one really likes remembering being the object of someone else’s joke. Though, Korah is noted as the one to hold the record for being separated from her treasure for the most amount of time. But, even she could not stay away from it for long.
Breakfast was over. The dishes were clean. The clock had ticked enough times to signal it was time to leave.
The little family walked out the door. Father holding a little hand, the little hand’s mate holding a soon to be occupied wooden box.
The little family soon met other families and journeyers on their way to the day’s festivities. Pleasantries were exchanged, details were swapped, and grins grew bigger as they all approached the church.
The families with six-year-olds could sit near the front while all of the spectators filled in the pews behind them. Excited chatter filled the room and with each new outburst, the butterflies the little girl had brought along took flight. She was convinced that if she were to open her mouth, one or two just might escape.
Right before a butterfly escaped, Mrs. Claire, the church pianist, made her way to her most comfortable seat, the piano bench. She turned to the congregation and declared that they would sing the old hymn, “Be Thou My Vision”, before the ceremony would commence.
Mrs. Claire began her introduction and the congregation sang along, as was the custom. While the church sang, the little girl’s mind wandered to Mrs. Claire.
Mrs. Claire (that wasn’t her full name, but the one she preferred) had one of the grandest treasure stories, at least in the little girl’s mind. You see, when Mrs. Claire (let’s just call her Claire for now) had her treasure day, she was given many fine objects. Some argued that she received more, fine treasures than most, and where the word ‘more’ is typically concerned, the word ‘jealously’ is not far behind. As was her case.
Claire was a brave, lion-hearted sort of girl and that was only magnified by her treasure. But sadly, lions intimidate most people, even the good lions. For some reason, the townspeople didn’t want Claire to have the treasure she did. They decided to tell her what her treasure should be, what it should look like and how she should use it. This of course, broke her little heart. She had no choice in the matter, she was given what she was given.
So, Claire did what just about any little girl would do, she decided to try to trade her treasure. Then, she could have a more acceptable treasure in the eyes of the townspeople. Well, if you remember the rules of treasure, you know that you can never trade your treasure.
Since trading didn’t work, Claire decided to try to disguise her treasure. She tried to make it something else that was more palatable for others. In doing so, she knew she was betraying herself, but there did not to seem to be many options.
One day, a new option came. The community church was gifted a piano. Where the gift came from, no one really knew, nor really cared to ask. The Vicar merely said it was a gift and there it sat.
The problem was that no one in the town knew how to play the piano. Some people would come push the keys down, but nothing came out of the piano that anyone wanted to hear.
For some reason, Claire was so drawn to the stringed box. When her mother would come to town for groceries, Claire would beg to go to the church and play the piano. She just knew if she were given the chance, she could get something out of the piano.
From the moment she touched the ivory keys, her fingers knew instinctively knew where to go. She couldn’t tell if the keys were telling her fingers what to do, or if she were somehow in control. It didn’t really matter for the sounds that were drawn from that box, drew groanings from her innermost being. It was here that she could mourn her covered treasure, she could express the deepest love that others couldn’t understand. She could even laugh through the tantalizing tones that escaped the vibrations. In-between the melodies, the little lion heart was free to roam and roar and her treasure was free to shine as was intended by the Giver… and it was beautiful.
Claire had invented a language in which she could communicate in a way that would command attention, but almost in a different dimension. Claire could talk to the piano, and it would listen.
Now, because the treasure coming from the box was undeniably beautiful and enticing, the townspeople could accept this treasure, because it blessed their ears. They also could not get enough of the sounds, for her treasure also spoke to theirs… again, a different dimension.
They thought that because she was so good at this mechanism that this was her treasure. The silly towns people didn’t realize that the mechanics were not her treasure – the sounds only represented her treasure. She had tried to share her treasure with them in more recognizable ways, but apparently their ears could only understand through the language of sixty-six keys. Had they listened to her words, had they not been so afraid to look at her objects they could have understood her treasure without the translation from a piano.
Regardless, both Claire and the townspeople enjoyed hearing her play. She became somewhat of a legend in the local area for her abilities. Mothers would beg her to teach their young to play as she did. Other would beckon her to play on command for various events. While, to them this should have been taken as flattery, Claire was nonetheless amused because this was yet a reminder that the townspeople still could not see her treasure for what it was. Yes, mechanics of piano can be taught, yes, sounds can be created from a piano at any time, but treasure cannot be taught. Sharing in someone’s treasure is a privilege, not a right that can be commanded.
Nonetheless, Claire always acquiesced, even though she felt much of the time these acts somehow cheated her treasure.
As with any story of life, there is at least one low worth mentioning. For Claire, it was the day the Vicar took the piano away, and for no reason it would seem. He said he was merely following orders and that someone else had need of it.
Claire was beyond devastated. How could the Vicar do this to her? Who could need a piano so badly that they must take it from someone else? The piano was not a pleasantry to Claire, it was a necessity. How could her treasure come out without this box who knew intimately who she was?
Claire struggled with that question for some time. She thought about ignoring her treasure until the piano could come back, if it ever did. But, the thing about lion hearts is that they can only lie still for a little bit.
The stirring within her to share her treasure in all of its authenticity barraged her until she could only but try to uncover what she had hidden for so long. It was hard to do for a while, but the little lion heart was brave and courageous enough to figure it out.
She began to share her treasure in the words she spoke, in the smile she so freely gave, in the little songs that she would hum and even in the prayers she prayed… and it was beautiful.
The towns people eventually learned how to look at her treasure and not be intimidated, they were even more drawn to her than before. While they missed hearing her play on the piano, they wondered if perhaps that she had more treasures that that ability. Claire had taught them not to be afraid of her treasure… afterall, that is the mark of a good lion.
But, every low in a story requires a high. Just as ‘out of nowhere’ as the piano had disappeared, it reappeared. Claire was overjoyed and overwhelmed! Her closest friend had been returned to her. But why? Again, the Vicar only replied that he was simply following orders. He said this with a light smirk and something behind his lips that she could tell he was bound to keep there.
But, because Claire had learned to use a different object in her treasure trove, she understood. Whoever gave the Vicar orders to return the piano knew she needed it and wanted her to have it. He must be Someone good.
From that day forward, Claire’s playing was different. The towns people, even in their lack of understanding commented that the sounds she now drew were deeper, fuller and bordering on majestic. Claire was also different – it was almost as if she was playing now for a different Audience.
Eventually, the sounds were too grand for just this simple town to enjoy. People from other towns came to hear her play. Only a select few people could understand that her treasure was behind the timber that they so enjoyed. One such individual was a gentleman, a Vicar from a faraway town. He enjoyed the sounds and the treasure keeper behind them so much, he decided he needed them every day. Just like that, the two of them were wed and the now, Mrs. Claire followed her new husband to a new town, to a new church, to a new piano.
The two lived happily, though not ever after. There was not much clarity around all of the details, but after just a few decades, Mrs. Claire’s husband drowned tragically. Mrs. Claire, not long after, returned to her first town, to her first church, to her first friend – her piano. It was here she would live out her days.
What Mrs. Claire had endured did not break her. She was a lion heart after all. Her piano still listened as it always did, and her treasure continued to shine, as it always did. She continued to use her treasure and her story by teaching Sunday School to little girls who were just getting their treasure. She so enjoyed guiding young ones to use their treasures as they were intended. She was never one prone to favorites, yet a little blonde with a tight ponytail was one of her favorites to see each week.
How the little girl in our story loved Mrs. Claire – everyone did. This was just one more reason why she wanted a magnificent treasure, to show Mrs. Claire, her teacher, that she was special too.
As the words of the final verse drew to a close, the Vicar made his appearance though the side door, carrying the big bag of treasure. Silence was quickly attained, more out of hope to hurry the proceedings than reverence.
He made his way to his weekly speaking spot, set down his sack and addressed his audience.
A recount of his words adds little to this tale. Excitement washed his words away the moment they lighted on his listener’s ears. They had all heard this spiel before.
Finally, it was time for the children to line up before him to receive their treasure. As soon as the offer was made, little feet sprang into action, propelling them before the great sack of future.
The little blonde made her calculated way to the last place in line. She purposely let children in front of her, after all, that was the adult thing to do.
The treasure distribution was under way now and shouts of joy and pleasure were coming from the front of the line.
The little girl realized she was more alone than she had ever been. Even her butterflies had vanished. They must have been too nervous to endure this anxiety. Tension filled the little body and it became stiff, as if bearing the weight of a large building.
The questions she had contrived of this event were soon to be answered and what if the answers were horrid?
What if she didn’t like her treasure? What if no one else thought her objects were special? What if Mother didn’t approve? What if Father wasn’t proud of what she was given? What if there was simply nothing remarkable about her treasure?
The line was getting shorter, she was nearing the Vicar.
Smiles were beaming and the chatter of the crowd increased as newly gained treasures began to be explored.
She was next.
She hoped for a grand moment that she might pass out and wake up at home to discover her treasure alone.
Her body didn’t cooperate with that flight plan.
Now, it was her turn.
The Vicar smiled when he saw her, the kind of smile that is a step above polite, leaning toward genuine. She winced out a smile, hoping she was not being rude. Anxiety always controlled her facial muscles, mocking her when she tried to claim control of her expression.
He reached deeply into his large black, velvet bag and pulled out his fist. She responsively opened her new pine box and brought it towards him. He opened his fist, depositing its contents.
She couldn’t hear a clang of objects hitting the pine and felt no weight drop in her box. As soon as he removed his hand she peered over the lid, wide-eyed.
He had deposited nothing.
Her box was empty.
She looked at him with angst and confusion. Was this a terrible joke? Was there some mistake? Something was horribly wrong.
The Vicar, either pretending not to see or not seeing at all the questions in her eyes, reached out to stroke her cheek. He smiled again, this time with a knowledge that he would not or could not share.
He said nothing. Folded up his big, empty bag and walked away.
She was stunned. She couldn’t move. She stared blankly into her empty box.
She had imagined all sorts of scenarios, some even happy. But she never imagined this.
She had never heard of someone receiving no treasure at all. Was she the first? What could she have possibly done to not receive any treasure at all? Korah, the town rebel, even received a treasure.
And why did the Vicar pretend to give her a treasure? Had he made a mistake and forgotten hers? Surely, he would have gone to retrieve it immediately… but still, why would he pretend? Worse then, to smile at her and walk away.
Or, if she truly deserved no treasure, she imagined that he would have folded his bag before her and reprimanded her for not having value enough to receive a treasure.
That didn’t make sense either.
She was awakened from her stupor by her Father, calling after her, wanting to see what she had received.
She slammed the lid to her still empty box and clutched it even tighter. With every step, tears began to well in her eyes. She must swallow those before they give away her secret. She reminded herself that babies cry, adults do not. That was always the trick she used to keep her salt drops from spilling. It usually worked, but this time she thought that her will may not be strong enough.
Just before she reached her parents, Lilly Whitewater sprang in front of her, flaunting her treasure to our little girl’s parents. They both kindly ooh-ed and ahh-ed over Lilly’s treasures, while the little blond slunk under her father’s arm.
He gave her a little squeeze and was about to bend down to see what she received when Lincoln decided it was his turn to bequeath the knowledge of his receipt to the next closest bodies in the room.
In any other circumstance, the little girl would be incredibly annoyed. But, in this circumstance, she was grateful for the distraction. She couldn’t even summon jealousy over the other children’s treasures because she was just so relieved that their treasure took away from her mortifying secret.
Person after person swarmed by, never giving her parents a breath to excuse themselves to see what their offspring was carrying.
Finally, Father looked down to see his treasure keeper, biting her lip to keep it from quivering. He tossed a look to Mother then said with all normalcy, “Baby girl, shall we leave this crowd and inspect your treasure in the solace of our own home?”
Hope of deterred embarrassment filled her eyes and she shook her head, “yes.”
Relief provided air to her lungs as they reached the church door. Hands where they were upon entry, the family made their way home.
As they walked, Mother and Father spoke casually of the event, never mentioning a treasure of another child, but rather things like not seeing Mrs. Jennings in attendance or the idea that the church was due for painting again soon.
The little girl stayed silent as her thoughts screamed in her mind. The relief that got her out of that awful room was dissipating into dread. She may have dodged her public embarrassment, but there was no getting past the private horror that was soon to scar her.
Finally home, the family hung up their coats and breathed all the easier for reaching a place of their own. The little girl tried a meager escape to her room with her empty box, but to no avail.
Father, sitting down again at the table said, “Baby girl, let’s see what you’ve brought home.” Mother, standing again by the stove, gave approval to this command with her eyes.
The little girl thought she heard her heart thud as it hit the floor. She turned slowly, this time those baby tears were going to win. She almost didn’t care.
Both parents, exchanged curious, apprehensive glances. Something was terribly wrong.
“Honey, come here. What’s wrong?” asked Father.
The one place she loved more than any other was her father’s lap, but she couldn’t make herself obey. She didn’t even deserve one inch of his knee.
Finally, she gave in. Without more words, she rushed to him and without request, he hoisted her to his knee. She hid her face in his neck and allowed the tears to fall.
And fall they did. Sobs even joined them.
Mother left her post at the stove and sat down next to the two.
Both allowed her to catch her breath and then again asked what could have happened to require this much remorse.
“Oh Father, it’s just the most awful thing. I… I…”, she didn’t even know how to say the words. “I didn’t get any treasure.” The statement immediately turned into more sobs she didn’t even know she had.
“You didn’t get any treasure?” he asked. “How could that even be?”
“The Vicar,” she sniffed, “he pretended to give me some objects, but then when he opened his hand, nothing was there.” The tears kept spilling.
Mother stood up to retrieve a hanky.
“Now Dear, everyone gets a treasure, maybe you missed something. Shall we have a look?”
Father reached under her arm for his gift box. He only received resistance for an instant as she decided to release the box in despair.
He set it on the table and Mother came closer. He opened the box and held her close. The little one struggled to make her eyes peer into her box again, but she did. Still nothing.
There was no point in looking to either parent. She couldn’t bear the disappointment on either of their faces. But she did when she heard her father say, “Oh my!”
The energy in his voice was the antithesis of disappointment. He sounded thrilled and surprised. She looked at him, his face gleaming, a rare twinkle in his eyes.
“Oh, Baby Girl, what a treasure you have! Ha! I believe had we showed your treasure around at the church, all of the little faces would have turned green with envy. Dry your tears, my love. You have the most wonderful treasure!”
The little girl was so confused. She looked again into the box. Still empty.
She looked again at him. Was he joking? He loved joking, but he wouldn’t do this now, would he? Certainly not.
“I have always been proud of you, little one. Didn’t think I could get prouder, but today, I’ve been proved wrong. I can fit some more pride in my heart for you. What do you say, Mother?”
The little girl looked to her mother’s face for more clarity.
“Well, I’d say I’d have to agree.” said the mother. Her face did not share the glee that was on Fathers, but it wasn’t saying disappointment either.
“I’d also say that it’s time to fix supper and that the lamps need oil before dark. Now, let’s get to it.”
The little girl felt in a daze. What was going on?
Father closed up the box and gave it to her saying, “Now, you take special care of your treasure. You have something more valuable that you know right now.”
With that, he was off to oiling the lamps.
No more was said about the day’s events or her treasure. The evening progressed as did any other.
That night, while she lay in bed, still wondering what had happened, her mind drifted on to how she was to survive tomorrow at school. She would be expected to take her treasure and her container and share them with the class.
Out of nowhere, a plan came to her. She figured that if she could distract everyone with the novelty of her box, then she may never have to open it.
What a grand plan.
She jumped from her bed and relit her lamp. Supplies, supplies what could she use?
The light from her lamp danced on a small bell. One that had been attached to a Christmas present she had received, just a few weeks before.
Yes, a bell would be a perfect distraction. Being a carpenter’s daughter, she made quick work of the embellishment. She took a step back. Ah, yes! This may actually do the trick.
Back to her bed, now slumber could come. Her new, lifelong craft would begin tomorrow.
Exiting school the next day, she couldn’t have been more proud. She did it. She actually did it. She had successfully kept every prying eye out of her treasure box for the entire day, just by bedazzling them with the construction of the box and her shiny bell.
What fun this was! Not only could she keep her secret, she could blend in.
No need to belabor the obvious fact that for the next several days and months, she spent the majority of her time embellishing her treasure box. Or, rather, her secret box.
She would go to her father’s wood shop and use his tools and wisdom to craft intricate and fine details into the wood. This became a bonding pass time for them. Nothing pleased him more than to see his only offspring excel so finely at his own craft.
On some of these occasions, too many of them if you were to ask the little girl, father and child would be donning the treasure box and Father would pause to open it.
He would peer into the empty box and his eyes would sparkle. She could tell that he was in awe and admiration of something… something that remained quite unseen.
He would look up from his awe-struck state and gaze at his little girl and say things like, “My what a fine treasure you have here, Baby Girl.”
She’d blush and close the lid and insist they return to their little project on the outside of the box. For an explainable reason, she did like Father to look in her box, or at least want to look in her box. She felt valuable, just for having someone want to look inside.
In conjunction with her wood working skills, the growing blonde was also working on a less obvious skill. You see, she was learning the art of deflection. Now that time had passed from the festivities of Treasure Day, it was much easier to hide the secret of the empty space.
But, when someone would venture an inquiry as to her treasure, she would immediately point out that she loved her treasure, expose her box and mention what work she and her father had crafted into her container. The artistry was fine enough to carry a conversation for enough time to distract from ever opening the box. If someone were so clever as to get past her first layer of protection, she would divert the conversation to another interesting fact about someone else’s treasure. One tool of secrecy that never seemed to fail was inserting a timely question as to her onlooker’s treasure. People never tire of talking about themselves, so this human condition kept her secret safe.
Her cleverness confirmed her suspicion that she was approaching adulthood with great speed. This pleased her all the more.
There comes a time or event in every person’s life that plays a major role in defining said person. The little girl in this story ran into one of those moments not too many years after her Treasure Day. The season was spring when she made her way home from school. She came into her humble abode, as she had done hundreds of times, but this time, something was not quite right.
She saw her mother sitting at the old table, a blank stare shadowing her face. Unfazed by the sound of approaching footsteps, the little girl could see her mother’s tears. She couldn’t remember the last time, if she had ever, seen her mother cry. This created a new feeling in her little belly, and it was much less pleasant than butterflies.
“Mother, what’s wrong?” she asked trembling.
Mother blinked slowly without removing her gaze from the floor, then ever so slowly brought her eyes to meet the little face.
“He’s gone.” she whispered.
“Who’s gone? Gone where?” the little one’s voice cracked.
Mother needn’t answer.
The weeks and months that passed after the father’s passing were covered in a haze. Mother and daughter now alone to themselves struggled to maintain or recreate what normal would look like.
No matter what they created, no matter how hard they tried, no matter how good the alternative was, nothing could replace Father.
How the little girl longed to be with him again, to sit on his lap, to work in his wood shop… just to be in his presence. She missed the sound of his voice when he called her, “baby girl.”
It still surprised her that she cherished that name so much. She wanted with everything in her to be grown up, to be the opposite of a baby. Somehow, when he called her his baby girl, everything seemed right in the world. She didn’t mind it coming from him. Now, she minded that it would never come from him again.
She also minded that he was no longer there to stare into her empty box. She didn’t think that would bother her, but it tore at her soul. He was the only person on earth who could garner some pleasure from her absent treasure and now he was gone. That blasted box was a constant reminder that any additions to the outside must be done alone and that no one would ever find anything of use in the contents.
One resolute day, she thought she couldn’t bear the thought of his absence anymore. She grabbed her box from its resting place and slammed it on her home-made work bench. She stared at the box, tears burning, but never spilling in her eyes.
She had acquired a lock from the side of the road on her way home from school one day, apparently discarded by the original owner. This perceived treasure lay within eyeshot and quickly a plan was devised. The premature carpentress went to work on securing the lock to her box. This would be the final touch.
There was no key to that lock. No easy way to get that lock off.
She put the lock through her latch. Was she strong enough to lock the box that brought her late father so much joy?
She certainly was.
Somehow that one act brought her peace. She had turned a corner, closed a door, sealed her pain all with the simple click of a lock. Without a key, there was no looking back, there was only looking forward.
In a more dramatic way, she had done with her treasure what her mother had done, placing her treasure high up above the pantry. Though, Mother was much stronger. She needed no lock to keep her own eyes away from her treasure. She needed no seal to keep her from remembering the past. Mother had resolved herself to never need to look at her treasure again. Her resolve was stronger and more permanent than any lock or seal.
The change to the little girl’s treasure box went mostly unnoticed by anyone, except that one day, the little girl saw her mother pick up the embellished box. This never happened. Mother ran her fingers over the artistic details created by time well spent in a wood shop. Her fingers fell over the new black, unsightly addition. She held the lock in her hand, studied it as if contemplating a great quandary. Hers was not a question as to why or how the lock had appeared, but rather what to do now that it had. She didn’t know, but it made her sad. She set the lock box down and now a new pain was etched in her heart.
For the next several years, mother and daughter continued to exist. Everything was harder without Father.
Work, of course, was harder for Mother. That was about all she did, with a certain cadence.
Work before sunrise, home at sun up, food on the table, little girl to school, work till sun set, home at sun down, food on the table, work till night fall, little girl to bed, deep breath, sleep, repeat.
Holidays. How they both dreaded holidays.
Sunday services. Oh, the drag of formality.
Family. Let’s please not pretend.
Through all of this, the grasp for some sort of normalcy was the need that neither could state. However, a tricycle cannot ever find normalcy when it loses a wheel. It must convert to a bicycle if it hopes to go anywhere. What a silly picture.
The time was not all bad, though. There were plenty of good times brought round by even better people. Where Father had been the provider of many things like maintenance, laughs, provisions and such, many people filled in several times for those needs. Those were the best of people. The little girl noticed that it was always these people who had the most beautiful treasures. She didn’t know if they knew that fact, though. She thought that if she had a treasure, it would look something like theirs.
As time would have it, the little girl became the adult she always wanted to be, or at least the age. She soon learned that this adult world was not all that she had imagined, yet, still better than being a child.
She was strong, independent, stubborn, yet somehow well liked. She acquired cursory friends, got along well with children and the elderly alike.
None could rival her dissuasive treasure conversation (no one else knew it was a competition). She kept to the same practice of distraction that she had honed as a child and piqued the pinnacle of dissuasion where no one even noticed the unsightly lock.
Eventually, her cleverness and independence led her away from the village she had called home for so long to a place that promised new experiences, new people, or just a fresh start. She could breathe.
This time of “new” made her feel alive inside. The kind of living she always knew was deep inside.
One of the “new” things was a new girl who ventured across her path. The two, having little and much in common at the same time, became fast friends, close friends, the best of friends.
This new girl, Joy, was an enigma to our little blonde. Joy had the most enticing treasure and she was so open and happy to share her treasure with anyone. She wasn’t boastful in her presentation, she never even brought it up, but it seemed to be a part of who she was. Joy, aptly named, did bring joy to everyone she touched, and everyone longed to be her friend.
Perhaps what was so enrapturing was that Joy was using her treasure the way our little protagonist envisioned that she herself would have done. She wasn’t jealous of Joy, just full of wonder of how things might have been.
One day, an untended Joy got ahold of the crafty lock box her friend never mentioned.
“What’s this?” she asked innocently.
“Oh, nothing.” came the reply, a little anxiety in the tone.
“It can’t be nothing,” said Joy, “it’s locked, it must be something. Say, this isn’t your treasure box, is it?”
That terror feeling from so long ago filled the little girl’s belly. What had just happened? She hadn’t prepared for this at all. Her best friend had just blasted through multiple layers of defenses and she didn’t even see it coming.
“Oh, yeah, I guess it is my treasure box. My father made it for me and we worked on it together. See, look, he taught me how to carve these ornaments on the side.”
Perhaps if she were clever enough to distract away from the discovery of the lock, the conversation could end. Then, she’d hide that box.
“Oh, yes I see, that’s quite lovely,” commented Joy, yet she wasn’t done, “but, why is it locked? I’ve never seen a treasure box that is locked before.”
“Well, you know, it’s the responsible thing to do… uh, keep your treasure safe and out of harm’s way.” The little girl even surprised herself by how obviously and inefficiently she was deflecting.
Joy replied, “That may be the silliest thing I’ve ever heard. Treasure isn’t meant to be locked away. It’s to be shared and enjoyed.” She was clearly not about to let this rest.
we all use our treasure differently.”
“Right,” said Joy, “we’re supposed to use it.” With that, she gave the lock a terse tug.
An electric shock shot through her friend at the forced thought that the lock might not hold and her secret be revealed to the one she held so dear. Relief came just as quickly as the lock held strong.
Joy, not noticing the panicky turmoil she was causing, kept looking at the lock and then asked, “So, where’s the key?”
She asked this so innocently as if this was a normal question. Yet, this question had literally never been uttered before.
“There is no key, there’s nothing worth seeing in there.”
The sharp reply did get Joy’s attention. The confirmation that she had struck a nerve came as the little girl took the box from her hands and placed it in a cabinet.
“We have better things to do with our time. Let’s go see what there is to do at Hal’s place.” Apparent relief was in her voice now, but she indicated the conversation was over.
This conversation may have been over, but Joy didn’t have her answer. She was going to get her answer, but she knew this battle was not for today.
Two things about Joy that need mentioning are that she was incredibly stubborn and did not like to be told, ‘no.’ Joy liked to kid that those characteristics were part of her treasure, but her little friend assured her they were not.
Joy never gave up the notion of the locked box. She would even be so brazen to remove the treasure box from the cabinet, examine it more closely and always give a tug on the lock. She was soon convinced that something more drastic would be needed to remove the lock.
This gave our little blonde much comfort – that lock was there to stay. Given the trustworthiness of the lock, the little girl became more and more comfortable with Joy handling the box. She even liked that Joy wanted to see in the box.
Joy grew more and more frustrated with locked box. How could her best friend keep her from seeing her treasure? This was rather hurtful, though she didn’t think her friend saw it that way.
Doesn’t she trust me? Doesn’t she think I’m worth sharing her treasure with? What will it take for me to be able to see her treasure? I’ve shown her mine from the beginning.
Finally, she could no longer take the treatment. This was a battle for today. She took the box from the cabinet and confronted her friend. Joy told the little girl that it wasn’t fair to keep her out of the box and she wouldn’t stand for this anymore.
“You can no longer call me your best friend if you won’t show me what’s in this box.” said Joy. She meant it.
Just about every negative emotion you can name shot through the little girl. Her treasure had come down to this – either expose the secret of her empty box or lose her best friend. The look in Joy’s eyes told her what she should do.
The little girl took a deep breath and walked out of the room. She returned within the minute with a hammer. It was the hammer from her Father’s wood shop. That was definitely strong enough to do the trick.
She wasn’t sure if she were strong enough to let what was about to happen, happen. But she knew she could not lose another person she held so dear. She handed Joy the hammer.
Joy took the hammer and set the box down on the counter between them.
A rapid heartbeat and butterflies choked the little girl’s throat.
It only took two strikes for the lock to break free. Now, was the moment of truth.
Joy began to lift the lid and before it was open reached inside.
The little girl could not contain her fear anymore and shouted, “No!” and slammed to top shut with all of her might.
While she had succeeded from keeping Joy’s eyes out of the box, she did not succeed from keeping her fingers out. Those fingers were now smashed between the lid and the base.
Joy whelped in pain and drew her fingers back. They were bruised and slightly cut. The look in her eyes, however, cut the little girl so much deeper. Her eyes contained fear, her eyes contained hurt, betrayal even. Someone Joy had loved dearly and trusted deeper had deliberately smashed her hand, all for trying to love her friend better.
The little girl didn’t know what to do. She clutched the box and began to cry, begging for forgiveness. What had she done?
The lock had broken, but now so had the trust between them. That was not something to be fixed.
This secret had started out no more than a hurtful fact, but now it was going to cost her more than she had bargained.
Neither of them knew how to handle the battle from that day. In fact, both lost. Things were never the same between them and eventually, they both walked away.
The heartbreak from Joy stayed with the little girl for years after. She knew she had handled the situation poorly, yet she was unsure of what she should have done differently. Though, she never considered actually showing Joy the empty box.
Now, though, she was left without her friend and now had a somewhat dented, unprotected treasure box. Well she knew she’d never, ever want to open that box, given what it had now cost her.
A more permanent solution was now needed. She brought out the bag she had used to collect some of her father’s tools while clearing out his wood shop. She scanned her options quickly and decided to use three thin nails to seal her treasure. Her now skilled, hammer hand made quick work of the nails, driving them through the lid of her box and into the base, forever scarring the outside with permanent security.
But now, no unsightly lock would beg inspection, and nothing could remove the seal.
From that day forward, the little girl let no one close enough to even see her box. There was no way she was going to even tempt fate with the hurt that came from losing Joy again. Now she couldn’t even be proud of her box anymore.
None of this felt right to the little girl. Yes, she had now protected her secret that brought her so much disappointment? How was she supposed to still protect herself and still have any sort of semblance of any relationship with anyone? What was the point of going on if all her treasure could do was hurt the ones she loved most?
Maybe she shouldn’t go on.
On a crisp, fall day, the little girl, plagued with her now twenty-year dilemma, decided to take a walk and bring along her sealed box. She had a devilish idea to covertly get rid of her box for good.
Her trail and thoughts led her to an old bridge that crossed a deep chasm of water. The bridge was tall enough for large boats and barges to safely float under, and tall enough to provide a great expanse for eyes to ponder.
Sitting on a railing, near the middle of the bridge sat a man, looking deeply into the waters so far below. He was deeply ponderous, quite mysterious, but also not frightening.
The little girl could not tell whether the man was poor or rich, had a home in a mansion or was homeless. He had an indifferent peace about him, a settling that was somewhat attractive.
She decided to mimic his position, near him, but not next to him. He didn’t notice her.
She swung her legs over the ledge and balanced her body on the railing and followed his gaze into the water.
She had never thought of throwing her treasure into the water. This may be the perfect solution. A burial at sea… she was waxing dramatic now.
Tempted with the idea, she held her damned treasure box out in front of her, the air posing as the only bridge between it and a watery grave.
The man looked up and over to her while she dangled the box in front of her.
“Destroying your treasure comes at quite the cost, are you sure you have your payment ready?”
He started her.
“It has already cost me everything. I think it’s time to collect.” she stated, still trying to sound like a grown up.
“This isn’t where you come to collect.” he stated and returned to his gaze in the water.
“I know,” she sheepishly continued, “but, it’s just all wrong. Everything is wrong.” Why she felt compelled to continue the conversation with a complete stranger, she didn’t know.
Without lifting his gaze, he asked, “What is all wrong?”
The indifference in his voice was again, mystifying. He didn’t seem interested in her answer or disinterested. He didn’t even seem to care whether she answered him at all.
This was not the setting for a long, engaging conversation. Yet, indifference was what she needed.
So, she dove right in and spilled everything in her heart to him.
She recounted this tale from the beginning – how she loved her father, how Vicar didn’t give her any treasure, how she worked so hard to embellish her box, how her father died, how she crushed her dearest friend.
At no point did her look at her. He gave her no feedback. But, she could tell he was listening.
She finished her saga and just sat with him, looking into the water.
At long last, the man took a deep breath and asked her, “Would any treasure have been good enough for you?”
“What do you mean?” she responded.
“Well,” he went on, “you seemed to have built up something in your little girl mind about treasure that may not have ever sufficed no matter what the Vicar gave you.”
She pondered, “Well, is that any reason why the Vicar would give me nothing? There are plenty of people who misuse their treasure, why am I so different as to deserve nothing?”
“Well, for one thing,” the strange man replied, “the Vicar has little responsibility in all of this. He was just following orders.”
She had never thought of that before.
He continued, “You know that the Vicar is not the one who decides what treasure to give each person. That’s decided by the Abba, and He gives the Vicar the orders.”
“The Abba.” Yes, she knew all about this heavenly Being of sorts who all man and women were called to serve, but she had never thought of Him being the One to choose the treasure for the children.
She did have more to say, “Then why wouldn’t the Vicar explain why he wasn’t giving me any treasure? Isn’t that sort of cruel?”
At this, the man raised an eyebrow in amusement and said, “Sometimes when a Vicar receives his orders, he doesn’t understand the reasons for the orders.”
“Some Vicars are better than others at explaining orders, and sometimes Vicars are told not to explain the reason for the orders. It’s quite the tricky job the Vicar has. Sometimes what is asked of a Vicar is just too much to carry.”
This last statement was the only time his expression ever changed. His face grew pained as if to recall a memory that was just too heave to recall in full. He paused, his essence almost disappearing to another dimension.
Quickly, he shook himself out of his stupor and continued.
“But, even if the Vicar is not perfect in delivering the orders, that doesn’t mean that the orders are still not good. The Abba only gives good orders.”
At this she scoffed, “Good orders? What is so good about not giving me a treasure at all?” She felt herself getting angry.
The man had nothing to lose, so he kept going.
“Have you ever considered that the Abba gave you someone else to see your treasure? He knows all thing and all children, so He knew that nothing He could give you would be enough to please you or give you the value He wanted you to see. He gave the eyes to see your treasure to your father.”
He wasn’t done. “Do you even know what treasure is? It seems you don’t if you’re about to throw it away.”
That cut deep. Any child should be able to answer, “what is treasure?”, but he didn’t give her the chance to explain.
“Treasure objects are pieces of who our Abba is. All possible treasure is in Him, and He hand picks pieces of Himself to give to His children because He wants them to know Him. Treasure is a piece of Abba, how could you hide that or throw it away?”
Tears were in her eyes, where did those come from?
“But there was nothing in the box, He didn’t give me a piece of himself!” she was raising her voice now.
This man was not helping things, in fact, he was making them worse.
The man was not deterred by her lack of composure.
“So, you’re saying your father was a liar?”
Now, maybe he had gone too far. Her father had done nothing wrong, the least of telling her a lie!
“No, Father would never lie to me!”
“Then you had a treasure in your box. Just because you couldn’t see it doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, it means you were looking in the wrong place when your box was open. You should have been looking in your father’s eyes.”
“Who you are in your father’s eyes is the only way the Abba knew you could see your treasure. Your father knew what treasure was and he was so pleased to see how much Abba loved you. You would never have been able to see your value to Abba if He had given you any other treasure.”
“Your treasure was enough for your father, why wasn’t it enough for you?”
She began to sob. She began to sob like a child.
Her heart ached for a simpler time, a time when there was no treasure to worry about. A time when she could just sit on her father’s lap and not have a care that he couldn’t take care of.
Her sobs slowed and she began to regain her breathing. She could see through her tears that the man stayed, still unmoved with any emotion. But now his gaze had moved from the water to the wide expanse.
After some time and more preponderance, more tears came, though a different sort.
“If seeing my treasure though my father’s eyes is my treasure, how will I ever see my treasure again? He was the only one who could see it.”
The man, un-phased replied, “Well, it is true that treasure is seen more clearly through a child’s eyes, but it seems you are assuming you can only see your treasure through your father. However, he’s the only one you let see the inside of the box. Perhaps if you had been more brave, you could have seen your treasure in others too.”
“Well, Mother looked into my box and she didn’t say anything.”
“Don’t you think that if she saw nothing, she would have stated as much? After all, Mother doesn’t think much of treasure, what kind of reaction did you expect?”
He just seemed to have a reply for everything.
The two sat in silence for some time. The sun was going down and the little girl grew tired. There had been so much thinking and crying today.
Before she dismounted, she looked over at the man and asked, “By the way, how did you know this was my treasure box and not something else.”
“I didn’t know,” he replied, “but I can always tell the look when someone is about to throw their treasure away.”
That pained look returned to his face and his eyes cast down again, into the water.
She decided she had a few more questions, this time about someone other than herself.
“Why were you here today?” she asked.
“I’m here every day. You know the rule, you can never leave your treasure, not for very long anyway.”
That answer didn’t really satisfy, but she accepted it and hopped down.
“I’d like to thank you for listening to me today, but I’m afraid I don’t know your name.”
“It’s Clariance.” he uttered.
“Well, thank you Clairance, you’ve given me much to think about.”
He nodded and indifferent nod and with that, she left him. She took a few steps towards home, but alas, her curiosity was not satisfied about this man. She had to know where his treasure was.
She turned around and almost sounded her interrogative, but to her surprise, he was gone. Where could he have gotten off too so quickly? She looked all around her and even looked down to the water to see if he had fallen.
Truly, he had simply disappeared, almost as if he were never there.
The little girl returned home and set her treasure box on the table. For the first time, she saw the box for what it truly was. It was not being used for its intended purpose, no, it was supposed to be a place of protection for something so special. She had turned it into a prison.
She knew what must be done, but this was not a battle for today.
She went to bed and rose early the next morning. Butterflies were in her belly.
She quickly fixed her ponytail as was her custom, and then went straight for Father’s tools. She took what she needed and went over to a home crafted work bench to see what wood scraps might be left over from some other project she tinkered with.
It turned out, she had just enough for what she needed.
She had taken on much of her father’s craft and skill, but now she only needed to most meager abilities. She must craft a simple, wooden box. Nothing fancy, nothing distracting, nothing a curated carpenter would make.
Without much effort, her box was born. She lifted the lid to see the empty inside and wondered if she’d ever get to see anything in this box. The box reminded her of Father’s box in its earliest days. It even had the same smell.
She got up from her bench, box in one hand and father’s hammer in the other. She took them over to the table that held her painfully beautiful box. She knew what must be done, but was she strong enough to actually do it?
This was a battle for today and she knew she had to be strong enough. There was no other option.
Certainly, she was.
With one hard swing of her mighty hammer, she broke open the treasure box.
She couldn’t tell if what she heard was the crack of the wood breaking or her heart shattering, maybe that was the same thing.
Either way, both were hurt deeply. More tears. These were becoming common.
She gathered herself and bravely, for the first time in almost twenty years, looked for her treasure.
She still didn’t see anything, but this time, she was almost glad that she didn’t. There was something in her that wanted her treasure to be the ability to see who she was in Abba’s eyes. If she knew that, she could do or be anything. She wouldn’t be bound by certain objects.
Her heart beat faster as she pulled away broken shards from the embellished lid. It pained her to realize that she had essentially destroyed she and her father’s craftsmanship, but she had done what was necessary.
Her next act made her feel silly and childish, as if she were playing pretend in the kitchen. She picked up the broken box and poured out the contents into her new, simple box.
Nothing came out of the old box; no noises were made in the new box by treasure clanging into a new space. She thought to herself, “Well, I hope I got it all.” That made her chuckle.
She sat back, looking at her empty box. She then gathered up the broken pieces of her old box and in a haphazard way, put it back together. She went over to her mantel piece and set her treasure box in the middle.
She wanted to remember this always, and she wanted others to see her box as well. This time, she wanted them to see the box, not for the perfection of the artistry, but for the scars from her hammer. The three nails that she had used to condemn her treasure to a lowly box made from a tree were not strong enough to contain her treasure. Now only the scars of strength remained as a reminder of deliverance.
She stood back and smiled when she realized, today was her real Treasure Day.
As you might imagine, nothing was quite the same for our little girl. At first, it was hard for her to be brave enough to show her treasure to anyone.
With much trepidation, she showed her empty box to a few close friends, and as it turns out, they could see her treasure. The looks in their eyes somewhat resembled her Father’s reaction, but with variances. Perhaps, there was even more treasure in there than she imagined.
She so delighted in seeing her loved ones view her treasure. Some would smile broadly, or even laugh. Some would become calm and peaceful. Some would become energized and some would breathe easier. Friend and acquaintance alike would often ask permission to just sit and gaze at her treasure. To which, she always obliged, after all, treasure was meant to be used.
The little girl hoped that they understood that when they looked at her treasure, they were really looking at Abba.
Of course, there were some who gave little to no reaction at all. This never stopped being disappointing, but the little girl reminded herself of what Mrs. Claire would often say.
“Not all treasure can be valued by everybody.” She certainly understood that more than most. Her treasure could only truly be heard by some ears, the little girl’s treasure could only be seen by some eyes.
But this was good enough. Exposing her treasure not only reminded her of the man she called Father, but it also brought her closer to the Abba.
As she grew older and would reflect on all that had happened with her treasure, she would laugh to herself of the foolishness of her youth. Why was she so concerned about what treasure she would get on Treasure Day? Of course, it would be perfect. Abba knew her better than anyone. He crafted her treasure, uniquely for her, just as Father had crafted her box to hold that very treasure.
At the end of every day, this now very old and grey little girl, believed that she did have the greatest treasure of all, for what could be greater than seeing who you are in your Father’s eyes?