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treasure

Once upon a time, there was a gypsy girl who felt her life was destined for great adventure.  Young, full of hope, and anxious for a quest, she set off on a search for buried treasure.

Impatient to begin her adventure, she picked a digging spot early in her journey, and immediately began clawing at the hard surface of the earth with her bare hands.  She had neither tools nor a remote clue of what a large endeavor she had begun.  As a result, she tore her nails, and her fingers bled.  When the cuts and bruises became more than she could stand, she would cry and throw dirt and rocks with reckless abandon.  It was a sloppy, ugly search.  Impatient clawing was not a great strategy.

That said, it was not a completely futile strategy, either.  She was still able to make progress.  Eventually, something shiny started to poke out from beneath the ground’s surface.  Heart quickening, she looked up with an excited smile to show the people around her what she had found.  This was when she noticed that they were angry and bruised from the rocks she had thrown, and their mud-caked eyes made it impossible for them to see the things she had discovered.  She recognized it was time to take a break from digging, so she could apologize for throwing dirt and help to gently clean the eyes of those around her.  Once their cuts were bandaged and the dirt was mostly gone from their faces and hands, she again showed them her treasure, beaming proudly. Then she set out on her way again, in search for treasure in new places.

Throughout her wandering search, she would often surprise herself by ending up back at her original digging site.  She would wonder how she had come to be in the same spot where she started, when she thought she had finished digging there years ago.  Sometimes the wind had blown a little dust on top of the shiny spots, and she needed to uncover them again.  Other times great storms would come, and the rains would fill the holes that she had dug so diligently, making her feel like she was starting all over again.  This was frustrating and painful.  But after the storms passed, she would often find new tools awash on the shore of the swollen rivers, inviting her to resume her work. Over time, she acquired a large selection of tools and learned how to use them.  She also found that the rain made the earth softer and more malleable than it had been on the hard, crusty surface of her youth.  With her new tools, she was not only able to resurface the treasure a little more quickly, but the soft ground allowed her to dig even deeper than she had the first time.

The deeper she would dig, the easier it became to see the treasure, and the more detailed her perspective of its infinite beauty grew.  In the early years, she had no idea there was so much treasure to find.  With the new knowledge of abundance, she no longer felt an urgency to dig so quickly.  Instead, she chose to enjoy each new nugget as it surfaced.  She was pleased to find less dirt under her nails, and fewer scrapes and scratches on her arms and hands, although the scars from past wounds reminded her to dig carefully and to try not to throw dirt at people.

She learned to take breaks when the digging got really hard.  She knew she could rest because she was confident that the treasure wasn’t going anywhere — no one could possibly steal it.  So she sat back next to the hole, breathing and taking in the view around her.  It turned out she had chosen an amazing digging site: there was a stunning landscape of trees and mountains and birds and beautiful, beautiful people all around her.  She suddenly realized that all of these things had always been there; she just hadn’t taken the time notice them when she had been solely focused on her own digging.  It also became apparent that her treasure was connected underground to the treasure of all of the people who were digging around her.  There was no need to grab at it or try to stuff it in her pockets – its beauty was much more staggering when it remained connected to everyone else’s.  Her job was simply to uncover her piece for everyone else to see.

After a rest, she would start digging some more.  But here’s the thing – she was learning to actually enjoy the digging.  She found that the hard work helped clear her head; it made her conscious of her breath, and she began to relish in the workout and sweat that goes with digging.  The act itself confirmed she was alive.  Plus, the fresh air and fertile soil smelled delicious, and the sun felt warm on her back.  When she allowed herself to get lost in the blissful, wordless act of digging, more sparkling jewels and shiny gold would suddenly appear.  The more treasure she uncovered, the more it reflected the brilliant light of the sun. The more the sun shone, the brighter her treasure sparkled and reflected off of the treasure of the people who were also digging near her.  She was amazed at her deep knowing that it had always been there, just waiting for her to develop the strength to uncover and share it.

Still, there were times when she would hit an unexpected rock, or a person clawing near her with bare hands would throw dirt, which would jar her and cause great pain.  And of course, the storms would return from time to time; once again sweeping mud back over the hole she had been working so hard to excavate.  But by this time, she had her tools, and she had been at the work long enough to know that the sun would eventually return.  With each storm or unexpected obstacle, she was able to recover a little more quickly.

She came to the conclusion that she would never be able to reveal all of the treasure by herself; it was just too incomprehensibly vast.  But she appreciated each tiny piece she was able to uncover, and she relished in sharing it with the people around her.  She also took time to peer at their sites, because the treasure they were finding sparkled with its own unique beauty, even though it was so clearly connected to hers beneath the surface.  Each time she was able to share treasure with another, her perspective and appreciation of it deepened.  She found that although her idea of adventure had changed dramatically since she began her journey, she was indeed living the life she was destined to live.