This story is one that has been repeated at least a hundred times, and it will be revisited at least a hundred more. It is a classic, and I am sharing it again, in writing, because the wooden salad bowl taught me the invaluable lesson about the beauty of letting go, and how life unfolds itself gracefully when we do finally wave our white flag.
About three and a half years ago, my parents went through some tough times. In a gist, they had to sell their house; they couldn’t afford to live there anymore. I recall my mom had asked me to come over to help sort through various belongings to decide what would be kept and what would be sold. As I meandered through the kitchen, where all of their worldly possessions were strewn across tables, floors, and counters, my eyes fell upon a wooden salad bowl sitting on a dining table. I gasped. Tears began to well up. I stood there, frozen, glaring at that bowl for what seemed like ages. Have you ever been so shocked, sad, surprised that your throat literally constricted to the point where it rendered you speechless? That was me. Nothing else in that room could have drawn my attention more than that one object. It was THE salad bowl that my family sat around almost every night we ate our dinners together. You can imagine the emotional connection, the deep roots, the history stored inside the "mind" of that one little wooden bowl. It witnessed everything! It watched us grow. And now my mom had to consider giving it away. I was flabbergasted, dumbfounded… speechless. I protested for a bit, but then she reminded me that there were other salad bowls, and they just did not have enough room to hold onto it. I considered taking it myself but knew that I didn’t have room for it either. So, I surrendered. I said a little prayer and gave it to God.
The next morning was the day of the estate sale. I woke at 6:30 am after a long week of teaching, nursed on some coffee, showered and headed to the house, nauseated. It was cloudy, gloomy, rainy – perfect weather for a funeral. I parked in the driveway and glared at the estate sale vultures with their black umbrellas peering in the windows of the house, waiting for the doors to open. I took a deep breath and made my way through the crowd. I decided in order to function, I had to detach myself emotionally, but I couldn’t get my mind off that darn salad bowl. The day went on, boring as all get-out, emotionally unsettling, detached or not. I focused on smiling and being polite.
A man walked in. He was with a boy, about 11 or 12. From the looks of it, he was about my age, maybe a little older, stout, rosy cheeks, great smile, warm and charismatic, cute! I wanted nothing to do with him. I was done with dating, relationships, men. He approached the table where I sat and began asking me about jewelry in front of me. I blew him off for two reasons: first, I wanted nothing to do with him and second, I didn’t know anything about the jewelry. So, he nodded politely and went to the back of the house. Forty-five minutes had dragged on, and the guy had vanished. I began to wonder if perhaps he’d jetted out the back door. I began to wish he’d come back to the table so I could see what he looked like again. Just out of curiosity, of course. Nothing more.
A few minutes later, he appeared. Gleaming. He approached the table and, as he did, I noticed he had something hidden under his right arm. I started methodically preparing papers to write up the sale. When I looked up again to negotiate price, I saw it. The wooden salad bowl. He held it out proudly, showing me his treasure, admiring it in its simple beauty. He then proceeded to say, "I don’t know. I’ve just had this thing about wooden salad bowls lately." And I thought to myself, God and the angels, "Are you kidding me??" You see, his mother had died when he was 12, and she always had wooden salad bowls.
And so, a new love blossomed. And the salad bowl has stayed in our family. In fact, it took a proud spot on our wedding alter the day we got married.
Love and wooden salad bowls to all,Jessyourspiritualpathfinder.com