Saving the best for last is not a concept that resonates with me. If treats get mixed into my regular dog food, I eat them up first. If I have a rawhide to chew on, I don’t devour it. And if there is love to be had, well, that one speaks for itself.
It has come to my attention this is not necessarily the norm amongst my four-legged brothers and sisters. I realized this when I overheard my mom talking to her friend Huntie about her greyhound named Elby (otherwise known as the perpetual pen stealer). It is not uncommon for pens to disappear into something of a black hole in Huntie’s house thanks to the crafty skills of Elby. I’ve heard of dogs burying rawhides away for later, so I thought maybe that’s what Elby is up to with the pens.
And the more I thought about it, I think he might be on to something. This is not to sy I’m going to start stealing away all of the pens in my forever home. But it’s not about the pens. It’s about what they represent. For Huntie, pens are instruments of joy she uses to piece together her writing. To Elby, pens are a source of joy from the ground up.
It all makes sense now. We all need some joy stored away somewhere for those rainy days when the clouds keep us from finding the sun. Be it pens, or rawhides, or anything else that one associates with joy and happiness. And it might not always make sense at the time, but it is ultimately an investment in future happiness.
This must be why mom keeps what she calls her adventure money stashed away in her jewelry box. I catch her counting it from time to time, and can see her dreaming of what’s to come, but back in the box it goes. It can’t be easy. Just like I know I would struggle trying to save my treats, savor my rawhide or (gasp) not burst with love 24/7.
But “the true treasure lies within,” suggests Indian author and spiritual leader Radhanath Swami. It’s like treasure hunting for the soul and those little items we’ve stored away are our treasure map. Joy is both around us and within us. Sometimes we just need a little help finding it.