Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Life gets richer for those that know how to enrich it. Those riches have little or nothing at all to do with money. Life quality is a separate measure. It is also an art form. In an overly material world, it is the possession of a few along the fringes that have not forgotten how to live. Some of them are wealthy and some are poor, but they are both rich.

Life-wealth has to do with a practiced awareness. If you are the sort of person that stops to look at clouds or close your eyes for a moment to sense a gentle breeze on your face, you may be one of those people. The free riches of life are all around us. They are not forced on us. We have to reach out our experiential "hands" (eyes, ears, and imagination) to receive them.

The ten-thousandth time you look at the sky, you notice that the habit has built a multi-layered memory. It is an experience that is a composite of every time you have ever taken a moment to look at the sky. The symbol has acquired depth. It touches a thousand feelings in an instant. There is an interaction that takes place that is the equivalent of opening a private vault full of jewels. We carry this wealth without having a single ounce of anything in our pockets and by being oblivious to our bank balance.

These memories are not always joyful. The sad and the bittersweet also add to the enriching mix. The moment that connects to all such moments is eternal in nature. Sometimes it is triggered by aromas that are all too common (my favorite is spent jet fuel). I like paint fumes, car exhaust in winter, pine trees, alfalfa, freshly picked cotton, coffee, bacon, snow, and salt-sea air. Candle shops are high on my list too. New carpet or a dust storm trigger reflections that take me on a thousand journeys.

Walking into a cathedral means a lot more if you have studied church history or art. If you have developed a sense of space - an awareness of any great place (building or canyon) that you have ever been - then you know what I mean. It isn't just the air around you; it is the message of the Creator or creators of that particular space. Every room in your dreams is an amalgam of every room in which you have ever been.

You can go through this day feeling rich or poor. The choice is yours. Ignore your bank account and fill your life account - for the life account is the one that you will take with you on your eternal journey. The other is just numbers on paper. The numbers go up or down. They are merely a scorecard kept by institutions - especially governments wanting their cut. Your life account can never be stolen from you. Jesus called it "treasures in heaven" - a bit intangible, but more real in the long run than the gold at Fort Knox.

Dale Andrews

1 comment:

CJ/Rick said...

I can relate to how our sense of smell triggers memories. Almost instantaneously a thought of someone or someplace will occur.