the many and the few

Recently, when I was putting away a few utensils, I found myself feeling grateful for those simple tools. There were no more than a handful—all that’s required for a week’s worth of meals. They had served me well for many, many years, those timeworn forks, knives and spoons, especially during our kitchen renovation when so much was stored away. Before we moved to our current home, I considered replacing them, but I’ve declined to do so. I bought them when I was a young girl, during one of my mother’s garage sale forays. She suggested that I purchase them for my “hope chest”. (Hmm . . . I wonder if anyone has a “hope chest” anymore, and if so, what hopes are locked away?) Wait . . . utensils, gratitude . . .

Funny . . . those utensils caused me to wonder why we might deem that which is limited to be of greater value.  For instance, ordinary rocks, of which there are many, are not considered to be as valuable as rare “precious” stones. The list could go on and on. Could the case be true for those few forks and knives? Had their decreased numbers increased their value?

And so I continued to ponder the many and the few, wondering if this pale pink rose I recently purchased (something occasionally difficult to obtain) was more precious than the boundless array of flowering weeds that dot the landscape? Yes and no. Maybe, but maybe not, because it seems there is beauty to be found in both the scarce and the plentiful-- if we choose it to be so, if we pause to relish each offering.

Isn’t each breath I take, currently countless, as precious as my last?