Treasure

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September 3, 2017

I was so accustomed to holding it that I barely had to think about it anymore. But I must have gotten distracted for a moment, because it slipped from my hands, and now it has sunk far below me.

The water is getting colder as, panicked, I dive…dive… deeper and deeper…kicking as hard as I can.

Below me, I catch a glimpse of its smooth, gold, still-shining surface now and then. But every time I think I will finally be able to lay hold of it and set my desperation aside, it disappears again. It seems like it must have been only a few days since I lost it, but now my mind is becoming muddled. Maybe it’s really been years. All I know is the longing…

The pressure is building in my chest as my weak legs kick even more frantically. I have to reach it. My greatest treasure lies in that box. (How have I survived even a day without it?)

But then, my body betrays me. It has a different agenda. As small bubbles start to escape from my blowfish cheeks and pursed lips, I look above me to see the light trying to find me in these frigid depths. And now my body is rising, my cruel legs kicking below me–compelled toward light and air, toward life.

I break the surface, gasping and choking as my burning lungs vacuum in all the oxygen they can hold. Then, floating on my back, waiting for my heart to slow and my lungs to trust me again, I open my clenched eyes to the beauty of the cloudless, cerulean blue sky above and weep.

So this is how it will be. For every day I spend up here, living my life, my treasure will sink a little deeper so that eventually it will be absolutely lost to me. Because, in order to fully embrace the gift of this life, I need to stop seeking out the love that lies locked in that golden chest. I have to rest in knowing that it really did exist for decades: the complex, resonant love of a husband and wife. It did exist–and it will continue– because love is eternal. Thank God.

 

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