This item in Harry's Harbour refers to the value of mementoes.
There's an elephant with up-turned tusks sitting on my book shelf. It's not very attractive. It's not every expensive, either. It certainly doesn't compare in either category with the teak statues I picked up in Hong Kong, or the ebony ox from the Phillipines. The up-turned tusks mean good luck. My mother told me that. I'm not sure if that's true, but she believed it and so do I.
Mother gave me the elephant.
Certain cultures believe that a single hair from the body of a person is enough to capture that person's soul. I'm not sure that's true, either, but they do. Actually, science has come up with something similar in DNA or GNA or something. When I was younger, I would have researched that subject. I might anyway. Later.
So, it follows, I guess, that hanging on to something that once belonged to someone we were fond of means we retain a small part of that person long after we have parted. Maybe that's why we keep so much stuff.
Ever go through the junk drawer (they're called junk closets today, I think) and find something you haven't seen in so long you can't remember why you kept it? Did you throw it away? Probably not. It'll have a purpose, maybe soon. Or, maybe you'll remember who gave it to you and why. Until then, you'll feel comfortably safe knowing your memento is still tucked away awaiting its purpose in your life; all the while quietly emanating it's magic.
We don't believe inanimate objects have souls. Well, that is, most of us don't believe inanimate objects have souls. But, it's hard to argue against whether or not those objects have some form of magnetism. It's not so much the shape or the size or even the material of the object. It could be a button or a cufflink, or...an elephant with up-turned tusks. It just seems to retain a part of the first owner. Maybe just a small part, but enough to cause a memory or two to work forward to our conscious now and bring a smile to our face. Or, perhaps a tear. It's the emotional experience we cherish.
I don't know if young people today feel that way about stuff. They have so much more than we had at their age. Yet, I like to think they do. I've seen the very little ones hang on to that small teddy bear or doll, or blanket given to them by someone they remember. Someone nice. I don't think you can lose that emotional tie to a cherished item even though you are facing the impending terrible twos, or teens. At least, I hope not.
The value we place on something says a lot about ourselves. You don't have to have lots of stuff, but those special items you keep have special memories attached, and the greater the memory the more power or energy we receive when we see or touch that item.
Sometimes, during junk drawer (junk closet) cleaning we toss away in haste, just to get the job done. We don't really take enough time to feel and muse and maybe identify a keeper. We think about that later when we have laid waste in our haste and then we regret it.
Junk, or treasure? How do we measure?
It isn't easy, but I have a little rule I use. If your heart feels warm when you see or hold the object, it's a keeper. You don't have to identify time, date, place, or even person. You just feel. When you have that feeling, it means you had better hang on to that item for a while.
My mementoes from various parts of the word are all special in one way or another.
And the elephant? That was a gift of love from my mother long, long ago. My heart feels warm any time I see it, or touch it.
It's a keeper.