Just Borrowing

‘We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’    Navajo Proverb

In our home we have a large curio cabinet that has become an altar of sorts. It is in this massive glass doored piece of furniture that I have placed a lifetime of  accumulated small objects that connect me to the sacred. This morning as I was busy in another part of the house, I heard the distinctive sound of one of those glass doors being pulled open. I put my work away and quietly walked into the hallway. There I could see the silhouette of our seven-year old son carefully placing an object on one of the glass shelves. As I walked up behind him he turned and looked up at me beaming. He explained that he had just found a leaf that was shaped like a heart in the back yard. He placed it on a shelf next to some acorns. We had collected those acorns together a few weeks ago; on the first day of autumn. At the time I had explained to him that we needed to find five; one for each member of our family. I then gave him a quick lesson on how those tiny little acorns each contain a giant oak tree inside of them- and how we are all like those acorns-working at growing into our full potential. I didn’t think he had taken much of what I said in because he was off and running in another direction before I ever finished my last sentence.

This morning, once his leaf was placed in just the right spot, he gingerly closed the curio door. As he walked away he turned back and said confidently, “Now we need to go and find four more leaves, Mom.”  I guess he heard more than I thought the other day…or maybe what he said, had nothing to do with what I had tried to impart …and instead of him inheriting my wisdom, perhaps I had just borrowed a bit from him.