Monday, March 21, 2011

A Toy Story⎯Joy in a Handful of Marbles


My mother-in-law recently distributed a number of old toys to my husband and his sister. I now have a handful of marbles sitting on my kitchen cupboard because it was something they did not want⎯but I did. We have had an unusual amount of gray days and rain for months and I was feeling a bit gloomy. Over the last day or so I have been flooded with joy-filled marble memories, which lifted my spirits because I had not thought of marbles since I was in grade school...

When I was in the fourth grade a few of the boys brought marbles to school, which proceeded to start a new attraction at recess. Before we knew it, many of us lugged coffee cans from home to school and back each day full of our marble winnings, and yes I was one of those marble enthusiasts.

At that time, my Uncle Lee was living with our family. I was tired of losing more than winning plus I had my sights set on some choice marbles. He began teaching me the art of shooting marbles⎯in other words: how to knuckle-down, aim my shooter, knock the opponents marble out of the ring and make my shooter stick the spot. I started practicing at home on our bumpy, avocado green carpet. I thought if I could shoot well on my carpet, the fine sawdust in the play fields would be easy-squeezy.

Before I knew it, I was winning. My marble can grew from a one-pounder to a three-pounder! Every now and then a particular coveted marble would surface. I kept watching a prized red puree (clear colored marble) pop up from time to time. Purees were coveted by all of the shooters at the time, and while I had a nice collection, I only ever saw one of those red purees... Fun memories especially when I no longer have my marble collection and do not even know what became of it. I guess we grew out of playing marbles and moved onto something else as children do...

Perusing the marbles on my counter brought back the wonder of childhood collections and gamesmanship. Every time I look over the marbles I can’t help but smile. I loved playing marbles because I loved winning something hard fought for, and of course beating boys at something they thought was their territory.

These memories remind me of how precious a memory can be and how you just never know when they are going to come flying out after you. Memories that bring joy at any period of time in your life are memories to treasure. I’ve decided to display those marbles from my husband’s childhood in something I can see on a regular basis⎯because I love finding joy in an instant. And by the way, I finally removed the prized red puree I won so long ago from my jewelry box and will now include it in my new-old marble collection.

Give some thought to what brings you joy in an instant. Keep a list if necessary or display your joy prominently⎯you just never know when that flash of joy will change your gloomy attitude. Thanks Uncle Lee…
© Copyright 2011 Michelle Clark
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