Monday, June 20, 2005

Old love letters. Notes from parents and grandparents. Letters from one's children. Letters of thanks, sympathy and support. Journaled thoughts from loved ones. Jotted ideas and feelings. Holiday update notes and periodic personal newsletters. Perhaps you have a box or two of these collected items stored around your home? Why do we collect them, store them, treasure them?

One particular author sums up our reasons by saying, "... they are milestone markers of our journey, the currency of our soul... they mark the times in our lives when we knew we were loved..."

When my father went on ahead from this world in 1986, I later found strength, peace and further understanding in his letters I had saved from my early college days. In addition, he had begun journaling only a few years prior to his death and I transposed every quote and thought he collected into my own journals. Now, almost 19 years and a half-a-lifetime later, they continue to bring me solace. Complete enough for me to draw encouragement from and incomplete enough to cause me continued wonder.

Almost twenty years ago, I began an on-going daily journal (similar to Our Morning Walks) of my thoughts and experiences; daily events and journeys that caused personal reflection. At that time, I had no experience in webpage development, so these journalings remained in binders. By the early 90s, I was sending out these journalings - entitled Daily Thoughts - via email and today, you witness my public journaling through our on-line Morning Walks. Regardless of the vehicle, the purposes are the same for me: (1) to make my thoughts more real by getting them out of my head and on paper and (2) to develop a better understanding of my life and journey. You may have similar ambitions of leaving behind a few notes for those left behind someday and even for yourself in future years to reflect upon. So what's keeping you from beginning a bread-crumb trail; milestone markers of your journey and feelings?

I can't tell you how many funerals I've attended or conversations I engage in where a family member or friend will say, "I wish I knew was going through his/her head when... If only he/she had left a few notes of what they were thinking or experiencing... I just wish I could hear his/her voice one more time or have a conversation with him/her..." Not one person has said to me, "I wish he/she was a more articulate writer." They were only hoping and wishing that a few personal morsels were left behind... anything...

You don't have to be an articulate writer or an aged sage, but you should begin today. Jot, scribble, draw, paint, write, journal - use whatever word you want to chronicle your journey through this Life. But begin today. In your writings, let others know how you feel about them, events in your life, your personal concerns, your personal hopes, your personal faith and beliefs. I guarantee you that these will remain treasures to your family and friends, long after any worldly inheritance is spent and dissolved.

Use the "currency of your soul" wisely, my friend.

hoedl's haven
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