Meaningful Collections


We got up so early that the sun hadn't even peeked over the horizon of the ocean yet but no one was grumpy. We talked up the excitement the night before. The ocean would move way out and we'd be able to walk where the water used to be and find animals and shells and so many more exciting things! As we trekked across this new open sand floor, all three of my little kiddos were in awe of the treasures the sea had left! I never wanted to forget that moment or the feelings it gave me. So...we packed as many baggies as we could with shells and sand and memories!

Soon I started collecting sand or earth or rocks or glass from every location with memories I wanted to preserve. Memories of laughter and joy and peaceful moments.


Jars are the perfect vessels for my joy!

Jars are the perfect vessels for my joy!

. These treasured memories were stashed away in plastic baggies labeled with permanent markers for years. It's quite sad really. We do that to so many things that bring us joy - lock them away instead of displaying the happiness and meaning they bring to our lives.

For years I looked for a solution. At one point I really thought I'd find matching herbs jars and an herb shelf to display them but every baggy held different sized objects. 

One day I was standing in the isle at the grocery store and noticed a beautiful jar of jam. Then I really paid attention and realized there were so many different jars available. They are decorative or simple, large and small, tall and skinny. With a touch of black spray paint to the lids I knew they could all become a collection of vessels that could hold my joy.

Rocks. Seaglass. Pieces of wood. Every one reminds me of joyful moments.

Rocks. Seaglass. Pieces of wood. Every one reminds me of joyful moments.

It may be simple but it is beautiful. They are stacked in every room of my home. Pebbles from a mountain climb in Colorado sit on my bedside table in a beautiful tall jar. Sea glass from Ocean City fill a small jar that takes its place on a shelf in the living room right beside the photo of my entire family. These jars of joy are beautiful to me.

As of right now...there's a slip of paper in each jar that tells the location and date. I'm searching for just the right labels to hang off the rims. I think I'll add a photo of the memory as a watermark on the back of the labels, too. 


So the question is ...what joy are you hiding in your closet? Is a treasured memory stacked in the china cabinet where you can never see it or touch it? What kind of conversation would those memorable objects start if others could see them?

Sonja Wolbert