Monday, October 12, 2009

~ The assumption that seeing is believing makes us susceptible to visual deceptions ~
Kathleen Hall Jamieson

The neighborhood was taking part in a town-wide yard sale on Saturday, so we decided to take advantage of the increased traffic to unload “stuff” we never use. Andy pointed me to the front hall closet to seek out items for the tables. At first I didn’t think there was anything in there that I wanted to part with, but I managed to fill two crates with “stuff.”

Andy walked around the yard, pulling “stuff” to the roadway. Over the years he’s collected quite a bit of “stuff” of his own. Some of this “stuff” I have been complaining about for years.
      “What the heck do you need so many 55 gallon plastic barrels for?” I moaned time and again.
      “They might come in handy for something” he would reply.
He sold five of those barrels easily for $5.00 each. Not too shabby.

One of the items Andy pulled to the roadway was a dilapidated utility trailer. It looked like nothing but wood rot and rusty hinges Sure the frame and tires were good, but look at it! A gentleman with a broad brimmed hat stopped, took one look at it and paid the asking price right then and there. He said it was perfect for towing behind his yard tractor. Not to mention, once he fixed it up, he could haul his goats out into that field he needed trimming. The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” was never more evident as at the neighbor hood yard sale that day.

As for my “stuff” I decided that sentimentality has no place in a house if you are looking to de-clutter. To that end, I placed on the table just for the ladies several sets of earrings that once belonged to a beloved aunt. The earrings were a colorful array of costume jewelry; all flowers. I had bright yellow sunflowers, blue and white orchids, and roses of red and pink all in miniature versions of their real life counterparts. While the ladies examined them and a few sold, it was the yellow jackets who found them the most interesting.

Through each hour of that day yellow jackets worked feverishly in the weak autumn sun to collect as much nectar before the long winter sets in. Time and again, they came to crawl all over those earrings, befuddled by their appearance yet covering every inch diligently. They persisted, never giving up on the assumption that these would produce nectar if visited enough times and inspected thoroughly.

Watching the yellow jackets gave me an opportunity to once again learn a valuable lesson about life. How many times do we waste valuable energy repeating the same mistakes? Had Andy not insisted I clean the front hall closet, it would still contain two crates of junk I never use or want. Just because I thought something was of no use, didn’t mean others thought the same. The bees taught me again that appearances are deceiving and that once we assume a thing is so, we are most certainly mistaken.

With the town-wide yard sale, I assumed I’d unload a few unwanted items and put a few extra bucks in my pocket. What I carried back into the house was a lesson so much more valuable than that.

1 comment: said...

My husband subscribes to the "I might need it someday" school of thought too. Sometimes it comes in handy, but mostly it produces clutter.

I too have often wondered why we stubbornly cling to our perceived reality when just a bit of vision and a different perspective could show us so many more treasures. Motorcycling always gives me that different perspective I need.