It is tiny, barely bigger than a postage stamp, yet the little wooden box is a work of art. Crafted with loving precision, the grain matched. To my eyes, the pattern of the growth of the living tree captures a landscape of hills, tilled fields and clouds across its surface. Though made of wood, the colours of the earth and of gold are part of its fabric. It holds the stuff of tears and of life and memory, and of love. In my hands it holds an echo of the warmth of the sun it has known. Soul to soul, for a moment shared out of time.
Three hares, detailed, tiny, chasing each other in an endless round. Symbol that spans the ages, lands and faiths of the world, the Three in One, eternity from a creature of earth. Sharing a life interwoven, both giver and gift.
A star wrought of glass, Egyptian in style. The stars were the followers of Osiris, present in both this world and the Duat. The Ba ascends to live among them. Iridescent, yet the colour of home or the dark velvet night.
An angel carved from crystal, clear as water. A butterfly , symbol of the soul, a smokey globe of quartz, a door with an Eye, and an Eye of alabaster, a painting of the sun, a perfect pebble from a beach, spheres of volcanic stone…. and a cup of coffee.
All these things sit around my desk this morning, every one a gift given in loving friendship.
From the coffee I drink, to the pebble picked up and offered in sunlight beside the shore. From the hares shared in love, to the box placed warm and unseen in my hand in the darkness, each one is a treasure, not only in itself, but for what they are to me when I hold them in my hand or with my eyes.
Some mark the birth of the School, some my own passage from the murky shadows into a clearer light, some simply mark a moment shared. All are symbols of the greater gift of friendship. And as I look around me this morning, all I can see is Love, and I feel truly and deeply blessed.
The value of these gifts lies not in the gift but in the giver and in the heart. Each has the power to take me back to a single moment, annihilating distance and time, ensuring the persistence of memory. Hours, tears and laughter shared, the beauty of a communion of hearts, a few handwritten words, or the image of eyes meeting mine. These are the treasured gifts to cherish. The objects around me remind me of that and I carry these people with me always. And the oddest thing is, that the more you carry in your heart, the lighter it becomes.