Daughters of Promise November/December 2014 - Page 60

WHITE SPACES Treasures by Marlene Stoltzfus Photography by Kristi Smucker been thinking lately about legacies and treasures, especially treasured items passed down from generation to generation. I’ve thought about how society has changed in the last two hundred years, when more people were poor and spent their lives in hard work with few possessions. What they did have was heavily focused on meeting necessities and was made through a longer process than today. These items were either self-made, without many of today’s tool and power options, or purchased through a longer process of hard work and saving pennies than it would take you and I. This backdrop of few and crude belongings made the -60- exceptions stand out starkly. If one owned or received a treasured item, it was precious because it was rare. Perhaps also, if one was part of a good family, the absence of many belongings made deeper the awareness of the richness found in legacy, tradition, and relationships. There are two children’s books which make me think about such things: Something from Nothing by Phoebe Gilman and The Blessing Cup by Patricia Polacco. Both tell stories of strong, intergenerational families who are poor in possessions but rich in relationships. They both talk about treasured items which the child of the story values highly. The items are very different,