Monday, May 2, 2011

G is for Gathering

I am hardly a hoarder. I actually take great pleasure in tossing things out, and sometimes I've regretted it later. Fashion trends change and styles return and I have, on several occasions, thought, "I wish I still had that _________". But, perhaps because we have moved so many times in the last 23 and a half years, I have learned that it was easier to sell things at a garage sale, then to pack it up drag it somewhere else and find a place for it.
I wasn't like this as a child, as a child I was a collector. I collected cats. Ceramic or glass, painted or photographed, even books--all things about cats were precious to me. Then, one day I realized that there wasn't a young man on the planet who was going to find that attractive. So, out went the cats. And, I haven't missed hoarding them one bit.
My husband went through a phase of collecting Hot Wheels and Coca Cola paraphernalia, then one day, he woke up, realized that we didn't live in Alabama and that we didn't watch NASCAR and he decided to sell it all. We ended up with enough cash to put new flooring in our home.
All that being said, I have decided to start gathering, to begin a collection. I could collect anything, in this "age of information", the world is at my finger tips and I get to choose what I want to corral. I could gather all of the knowledge available to me through google. People might come to see me as wise. I could gather calories, or the lack of them, by tracking each meal.  People might see me as healthy. But, there is something inside of me that needs to calm down, and I don't think that the growth of my mind, nor the reduction of my waistline will give me that which I seek.
I've decided that I am going to be hoarding my blessings. I have linked to A Holy Experience, the blog of the author of the book, One Thousand Gifts, and I will be tracking the blessings in my life. I started reading the book and it resonated with my soul. She is the wife of a farmer who was intrigued by the belief that so many were grabbing, the belief that there are "1000 Places You Must See Before You Die". But, then what? If we can find God by traveling the world and seeing his wonders, can't we find Him in our own laundry room? Isn't He everywhere? Do we have to leave our homes to see the gifts that God has provided, or are they everywhere?
I will be gathering the memories and the treasures that I often forget. Unintentionally, I toss them out while trying to maintain a less cluttered life. But, I need to have a cluttered life in this sense. Soon, I hope to be tripping over my hundreds of blessings as they are brought to the surface. I started already on my "family blog", Gathering Leaves, because I knew that there was no way to consider my blessings without naming a few names. The first four of my 1000 begin, with their own tiny fingerprints on my life.
But, for the nameless blessings, that God has cluttered into my world, I wander into my backyard to count, to gather:
5:: a lemon tree in my own yard. I waited two decades for this
6:: the song birds watching me type
7:: the view of the hill, that I call a mountain
8:: my collie, my Lucy, with her protective bark
9:: a water polo ball floats in the pool, who knew that my boys strong hands would love the foreign sport
10:: a wind chime for my Molly, one of the things that I've saved...sings to me this morning
11:: bougainvilleas peeking over my fence, are they really mine?
12:: the swaying breeze that gently moves the leaves and the water in the pool