When I was a kid, I used to go up into the mountains to my grandparent’s house. The snow would get so high, I would take a step and my whole leg would disappear. Sometimes the snow would be as high as I was tall. All around me a winter wonderland, like somebody took a bowl of whipped cream and carefully topped all the ponderosa pines, the meadows, the mountain peaks in the distance.
And as temperatures went down, ice crystals would form on top of the pure white snow. I remember being really excited because believed I was surrounded by diamonds. Back then, everything that sparkled was a diamond to me and I thought myself very rich indeed.
Now, I have been to stores that sold diamonds. Big, bright diamonds-the kind you see in commercials with the pretty models and the dashing suitor. “Give her what she really wants”, they say as if a woman’s greatest goal in life is to own a sparkly bit of rock. Maybe it is for some people, but it never seemed to be for me.
But the diamonds in the store never made me happy to look at, not like the sparkles on the snow or the stars in the sky.
And it reminds me of a dream I had later in life (after I’d lost that childlike awareness) where I was homeless dressed in rags wandering the streets. And I came across a bum with a giant ragged rucksack. I sat down beside him and we talked for a while and as he opened his sack it was overflowing with diamonds, rubies, emeralds. And I jumped up and down “But don’t you see?!! You’re rich! You’re going to be fine!! Everything’s going to be alright!!”
And he smiled and winked at me and said “Yes, I am rich, but not the way you think”. I looked around me and the landscape had changed. The streets were covered in gold, everything around me was so beautiful. It was like I had been given eyes to see the richness that had surrounded me the whole time.
It is nice to have everything you need, and be able to get at least some of the things you want. But I wonder if it’s more important to have the eyes to see what you already have.