Lydia was shocked when the notice first arrived. The initial excitement of winning such a prestigious award eventually balanced to a dull roar in her chest. She was unsettled that the opportunity and wealth possibly provided by this event might jeopardize the person she so passionately wanted to stay. Lydia always promised herself that she would stay true to who she was and what she stood for. “Honey, let’s go shopping today. I think you deserve a treat for working so hard to get to where you are. I’m so proud of you, and love you so much,” her mother said sweetly over breakfast.
The jewelry store gleamed with sparkling, dancing metals and gems. She had never considered herself worthy of such things, and even felt a hint of remorse for entertaining the idea of indulging. Just as her heart began to shut out the store, a pendant reached out and grabbed her attention. It was a simple anchor on a silver chain. Taking it into her hand, she connected to this object which stood for everything she cherished, it was perfect.
The award ceremony came and gone, and the days trickled away like water down a pipe in a gentle rain. Her life was peaceful, and her anchor always remained around her neck and close to her heart. It was never left on a lonely nightstand, always visible in every photo of the happy Lydia who stayed so close to her friends.
After years of unflinching loyalty, the pendent departed. She lamented and felt distressed. Sitting on a bench alone in one of her favorite spots, her friend Adrian approached with a smile on his face “Lydia, it’s so great to see you!” Before she could answer, her good friend spoke again, “You’re upset. What’s troubling you? I don’t like seeing you in pain, please let me help.” She explained that she had lost the pendent, the only physical thing that had ever been of any real significance to her. “It was so important to me! The anchor kept me humble and grounded; it reminded me to never lose sight of myself and to always care about the people who I loved. I can’t believe I lost it!”
Adrian smiled and gave Lydia a hug. “Lydia, I know how important that necklace was and I am sorry for your loss. I have lost things that were important to me too, and understand your pain. Sometimes we lose things that are precious to us and it can be very frustrating. Losing part of our heart, or part of ourselves that we value can be painful.” Lydia looked at him with watery eyes, “I know that material things don’t matter; it’s what they mean that matters. That necklace meant so much to me, I wore it everywhere!”
Heart widening, and smile broadening, Adrian took Lydia’s hand and looked into her eyes, “I agree and disagree that physical things don’t matter. We’re physical beings and sometimes we need physical things to channel knowledge into the deeper parts of our souls. Dogs are physical creatures, but think about what they do for our spirit! Making love is a physical act, but if there’s real love and passion it’s so much more. Our spirit and heart gives meaning to the physical world we play in. The anchor was nothing but a hunk of metal until you associated it with being humble. Then you created an idea that was the anchor, and that physical thing became more than it was when it was made. Our hearts are the key to making the world beautiful. This is what I love about humans! A flower isn’t beautiful on its own; our love of the flower is what makes it beautiful. Having the ability to endow great meaning to things with the power of our love is why we are so lucky! We will lose so many charms throughout our lives, but the meanings which we give them will stay. It’s an incredible gift and I wonder, are we like these things that we lose? Will our meaning be lost in the universe when our bodies die, or will the magic of our presence live beyond us?”
“Jesus, that’s so beautiful! My heart is beating so fast. That was so absolutely beautiful. I completely understand and completely agree.” Lydia was crying, and smiling ear to ear. Her anchor was still near her heart and would likely never leave. They hugged and kissed and celebrated their experience, which still remains, glowing gently in their hearts.