Updated: Dec 29, 2020
There is an old fable. I’m not sure of its origins, though I’m sure one could find out with a little internet digging. It’s the plot of several books I love: The Treasure by Uri Schulewitz (a picture book) and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (a novel). Here is the basic story:
Mila (the person is male in both of the above, so I’m going to change it up) has a dream of a treasure far away. Several dreams, in fact, before she will believe it. But eventually, she must see for herself, so she starts off on a long and arduous journey, where she sees and experiences much. When she finally arrives at the place her dream promised a treasure, she meets a person who laughs and tells her she wasted her time. This practical person—let’s call him Martin—had a similar dream that there was a treasure buried under the floor of a little cottage far away, but he would never interrupt his busy life for such rubbish. He describes Mila’s home perfectly. She thanks him and turns and begins the long and dangerous journey home. When she arrives, she digs under her own floorboards and finds her treasure.
I have heard another version of the same story where the treasure isn’t even buried. It’s in the oven. It’s been in the oven the whole time. I guess she doesn’t cook.
Many of us are going on ten months of mostly or entirely staying home. Our journeys are cancelled. Our adventures redrawn on a much smaller map. Our worries are very real.
But maybe you have paused and discovered a treasure at home? Might you still?
These last couple of weeks, as things have slowed down for me, I feel like I’m looking at my life with new, and wild, glasses. Someone gave my kids these silly glasses for Chanukah that change any light you look at into a Star of David. That’s a little how it feels—everywhere I look I don’t just see a normal light bulb, but instead a creative idea just waiting to be explored. A creative idea that has been there all along. A creative idea I might never have noticed if I hadn’t gone on this radical journey of staying home.