Suppose a family decides to move to Another Land. They give away or sell many of their belongings and pack their two leather suitcases. In Old Country the family store five large boxes filled with things of little value other than sentiment. They withdraw all their money from the bank. They fly off to their new adventure. They find a new house and begin their new life in Another Land.
A little time later they return to Old Country to celebrate the wedding of their eldest child. They are welcomed back by family and friends. They go to sort out their boxes of special things and find, that where there were 5 boxes, instead there are 50 boxes. They ask the Caretaker, ‘We left only 5 boxes here in this place and now there are 50. What has happened and what lies in all these boxes?’ The old man removes a white cloth covering the huge mountain of boxes revealing that each one is stamped with a different word. ‘Friends. Seeds. Trauma. Gifts. Family. Sand. Pain. Laughter. Grief. Worry. Words. The woman still doesn’t understand what this means. The old man takes her hand and looks into her eyes with such love. He says 'This is called The Well-come Home. This is your box of time. This is the record of things eternal. These are the things you carry and the things you dropped. This is both the school of your youth and the temple of your old age. These boxes hold the battle scars and your medals where you won first place. They smell of the ancient and of the future. ‘The boxes that you left on these shores have multiplied. I packed the pages you left behind. They speak of redemption and eternity. Friendships are a huge and valuable investment. I found some of those forgotten behind the door.’ says the old man.
The joy of these treasures was unexpected and very deep. His words induced a long audible sigh. Once the stale air had fully exited my lungs I breathed in a batch of new and energetic oxygen. I was a little freer. A little more free.