I was searching for an old photograph the other day. When I couldn't find it in any of our albums, I headed for the attic. Our attic looks like an attic should. It is a collection of bins and boxes stacked haphazardly from one end to the other. All efforts to organize and reduce inventory over the last thirty years have failed miserably. We could probably decorate the White House Christmas Tree with the assortment of bulbs, lights and shiny things we have assembled over the years. There is a smattering of old broken toys and few dusty pieces of out dated luggage patiently waiting to be called into action. My favorite spot in the attic is the far north corner. There nestled nostalgically against the rafters are some trunks full of memories. It was in one of those trunks that I found this beautiful old book. It is a famous collection of essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson.I had never seen it before. I wondered if it appeared from some literary ghost as a sign to keep my pen tuned and moving. I thump, thump, thumped down the attic stairs and held the new found treasure out for my wife to see. "Honey, do you know where this book came from?" She looked it over for a moment. She couldn't recall. She thought she probably bought it at a yard sale somewhere. She just wasn't sure. She said she may have had it since she was a little girl. She wondered why it mattered where it came from. I'm not certain why it was important to me but it kept speaking to me to look deeper. So I began to read it. Maybe there was a magical message buried within. The name Olga Pelyo was hand written inside the first page. I can only assume it may have been a school book long, long ago.
The last paragraph of the first essay 'History' reads as follows:
Broader and deeper we must write our annals, - from an ethical reformation, from an influx of the ever new, ever sanative conscience,-if we would trulier express our central and wide-related nature, instead of this old chronology of selfishness and pride to which we have too long lent our eyes. Already that day exists for us, shines in on us at unawares, but the path of science and of letters is not the way into nature, but from it, rather. The idiot, the Indian, the child and unschooled farmer's boy come much nearer to these ---understand them better than the dissector or the antiquary.
This little treasure is just that. With every page I read it's value will increase. From priceless to timeless...