An Absolutely True Story
The first step she took into the woods behind her new house felt like coming home. Strange that she would know what that felt like since she couldn’t ever remember feeling at home anywhere her entire life, a life that was now in its sixth decade. She had lived many places and turned a good deal of them into homes but none of them ever gave her this incredible sense of belonging completely to the land, the place.
This land spoke to her soul as she trod its hills and ravines, its tiny streams singing while moss faeries danced on stones, tree stumps and logs. Wind in the tops of a thousand trees whispered their ancient language guiding her to all the secret places in the woods. There were places untouched by humans where moss grew thick over everything, the heady scent of humus filling her nostrils, mushrooms at her ankles, ferns at her knees. Then there were places where humans had tread lightly never straying from trails carved by years of deer migrations. And then there were the places along the borders where people had treated this sacred place like a dumping ground. But even these places were being slowly reclaimed by the forest, saplings poking out of old stoves, moss spreading across broken sinks, ferns growing out of old glass jars. The heaps of trash made new hillocks where years of leaf decomposition covered them in fresh fertile soil, baby trees gaining a foothold on their slopes.
Now and then on her journeys she would come upon these places and find bits of old china, rusty iron buckets or old pickle jars sticking out of the little mounds. Sometimes she would pick them up, try to imagine their previous owners, pick up any latent vibrations from the past. Tiny painted flowers circling a fragment of china saucer conjured up images of delicate women sipping afternoon tea. Chucks of crockery carried thoughts of cucumbers soaking in brine solutions, rusty buckets of farm chores carried out before dawn.
One sunny spring day, the stresses of a financial crises pressing heavily on her mind, she sought the solace of the trees, the comfort of the woods. While leaning against a tree admiring the tenacity of some grape vines climbing out of a rusty pot belly stove laying on its side she noticed a shimmer off to her left. It was coming from one of the smaller mounds of junk a few yards away that she had investigated a couple of weeks before. She hadn’t noticed anything out of the ordinary then but now there seemed to be something shiny sticking out of the earth. As she walked the short distance she thought about how old everything was on these trash heaps. The houses and farms that built them were long gone. No one dumped anything here anymore. What greeted her atop the little knoll took her breath away – a golden china sugar bowl lay on its side. She immediately recognized it because in her china cabinet at home was an exact twin of it. There were only a few pieces left of the golden Fire King dinner ware, golden leaves chasing each other around the edges of each, that had belonged to her mother many years ago. She fully expected to find it broken but when she picked it up, brushed of the little dirt that clung to it she saw it was in perfect condition!
The awe she felt was complete.
Explanations, on the other hand, were hard to come by without other worldly inclinations. Faeries or her dead mother’s spirit were at the top of the list. Maybe faeries and her dead mother’s spirit were responsible. Whoever it was that left it she was certain it was a sign. How else could something so out of the ordinary be explained?
On her way back home with the golden sugar bowl tucked carefully in her pocket the symbolism of the sign became clear. Gold symbolizes wealth or money and sugar is, well, of course, sweet. The message was clear in her mind – stop worrying about money. Everything is going to be alright. Help is on the way.
Within the month her financial struggles evened out and within two months the situation was mended.
She’d always thought of money being a necessary evil. Now she thinks of it more as a necessity enabling her to navigate this world with more ease. It doesn’t bring peace in and of itself but the lack of it can definitely try robbing one of it. The golden sugar bowl has taught her that those on the other side, the spirit world, understand this and are willing and able to help us. Life is full of wealth, the sweetness of it all around us in the trees, flowers, birds – nature. It’s evident in the smile of a loved one, the laughter of children, a kind deed toward a stranger. She knows it can also manifest itself in the form of signs from the invisible realms that exist all around us. And when all these things come together and work in harmony the sweet wealth of life is the result.
The golden sugar bowl now resides in an honored place in her kitchen as a reminder.