At a glance, it could be easily missed sitting among Grandma’s things. It didn’t sparkle like her prisms or sun catchers did. Nor did it have any unique markings that might tempt a child’s fantasy but it did. Her wild imagination created a different story for the treasure every time she gazed upon it. Why did it have to be on the do not touch shelf? It didn’t look breakable. It didn’t look like it was worth millions but what did her young mind know about grown up things. She longed to tuck it into her backpack. What virtue hides inside. It was a mystery she needed to solve.
The admired paragon sat silently beside a angel cherub holding a feather. There was a miniature glass terrarium with a metal frame that cast colors of the rainbow across the wall every afternoon with the setting sun on the other side of the shelf. It shined pretty but it wasn’t what the little girl wanted to wrap her chubby fingers around. She wanted to know what secrets it held. And besides she could see what was inside unlike the object of her attraction without a latch to open it.
Would her Gram miss it? How much trouble would she be in if she took off the shelf? She studied it from every angle but decided that she couldn’t disappoint her Grandmother by breaking the rule.
“Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.”-Albert Einstein
Years later, the paragon of her childhood imagination no longer captivated her because it didn’t hold hidden treasures from a pirate ship. Nor did it have a unique gem from a secret lover. It was simply a box made of dark cherry wood with rounded corners. Why did she foolishly imagine it must be valuable. Not having a latch made a young mind curious, but she was older now and didn’t care.
Time passed and it was forgotten like many other unexplained childhood fascinations.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” -Mark Twain
She picked up her beloved cat’s ashes from the veterinarian’s office. She opened the box and inside was a dark cherry wooden box. Her childhood fixation was an urn, just like the one she was holding in her hand. Now, she understood why it sat next to the cherub on the do not touch shelf.
She wished more than anything she wasn’t grasping this cherry box in her hand. She would rather be holding her beloved cat.