Rediscovering Past Treasures

A college classmate posted a photo on Facebook that showed pansies blooming, as a sign that spring was coming. She noted that she had not yet been able to buy pansies, but was hoping to find some soon. I replied to her post, noting that I love pansies, dating back to my childhood. I had a book about a boy named Peter, who lived in a city and was not allowed to pick the flowers in the park. I did not remember the name of the book, and had not been able to find it. Another college classmate, a children’s librarian, accepted the challenge of finding “my book.” Soon I had a message, asking if the book might be Peter Gets His Wish, written and illustrated by Frances Ingersoll in 1947. Within minutes, I was on Amazon, and found a used copy available for purchase. It arrived yesterday, and was indeed the book I remembered. The colors are faded, and the book is held together with library tape, but I am looking forward to sharing it with my grandson Ronnie, hopefully as we plant pansies.

This opportunity reminded me of the way in which many portions of our lives intersect to bring unexpected gifts to us. A childhood book. lost more than sixty years ago, made such an impression on me that I couldn’t forget it. I am not a gardener, but I remembered what joy Peter received from his pansies, and wanted that joy for myself. Relationships from fifty years ago, through a casual posting and comment, brought the book back into my life, at a time when all of us are searching for joy. We are about to have our home landscaped after making a new driveway that reminds us of an airport landing strip. (We have no on-street parking available, so we wanted as many parking spaces as possible!) All of that concrete will need “softening” with plants, especially flowers that add color. I guarantee that pansies will be a “must have,” and I might even commit to ensuring they are watered and weeded!

Equally precious to the book and the pansies are the people who brought the treasure back into my life. For most of the years since we graduated college, busy with our own lives and careers, our contact was limited or non-existent. It is only through Facebook that I have discovered that Phyllis is a gardener who not only cares for her own home, but volunteers at a community garden. As a former librarian, Nancy had knowledge to find a book that had escaped my searches. A photo, a comment, and a search led to joy. This gift through connection is only the latest example of the treasures we may give and receive from one another. Often, friends from one part of my life are held in common with friends from a far different time or circumstance. What fun it is to ask, “How do you know . . . .?” and learn something about both friends. I give thanks for the ways in which lives intersect, through time and circumstances, to bring unexpected gifts into our lives.

 

Stay safe and be blessed,

Pastor Barbara


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