Friday, September 25, 2015

Devotional 9-25-15

Nature’s Jewelry Store
My father was in the jewelry business in north central W. Va. It was a joy to grow up in stores where I saw beautiful things every day. Pearl earrings, ruby necklaces, diamond rings and opal bracelets were something I got to look at whenever I wanted. The people who owned the stores where he worked always let me try things on if business was slow. They laid the piece I wanted to look at on a velvet pillow just as if I were a paying customer! I was five or six years old.  I could touch them and see what they looked like on me. I thought I was pretty special because I got to do that. I especially loved being in the store when all of the clocks struck the hour. Chimes, bells, and alarms joined to create a melody that was pleasing to me.

Dad repaired watches and clocks. I knew that this was a job that only a few people could do. I was proud of him. Several times a year, he, my mother, my brother and I would travel to other jewelry stores to see their friends and to see what things were selling well in other places. We went to Clarksburg, Fairmont, Buckhannon, Philippi and Spencer regularly. It was a special time for us as we renewed relationships and made new friendships. The late 50’s and early 60’s were good days. The economy was healthy, people were working and all seemed good at least in my young eyes.

Almost fifty years have come and gone. Times are different.  Work has been outsourced. Factories and plants have closed. Neighborhoods have changed.  Some people have left our state. When I walk down those same sidewalks I walked as a child, I remember where those jewelry stores were. Some have closed. Some are open. Those that have stayed in business still sell wonderful things. I find that comforting. In the midst of life’s ups and downs, people still enjoy things which look good. Appreciation for loveliness itself has not changed.  

I believe that W. Va. is one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Our rushing streams create music more melodious than any bell or chime. The amethyst and pearl blossoms of our hillsides in the spring when the dogwood and redbud bloom take our breath away every year.  The emerald colors of high summer tell us again that crops are planted and maturing.  Plants grow as they have for centuries to provide food. The rubies and topaz of autumn remind us that we have been taken care of as we prepare for winter. Finally, the cycle begins again with the diamonds we see in snow and ice.

Those jewelry stores of my childhood may be gone. The things of real value, the continuance of nature itself, last. We are cared for. Evidence of nature’s bounty is all around us, amazing to behold. All we have to do is open our eyes to see it, our ears to hear it, and our hearts to appreciate and honor it.

Rev. Dorcas Linger Conrad

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