In every family, in every generation, I believe God provides one curator, one intrepid soul willing to endure the slings and arrows of familial scorn to courageously preserve cherished heirlooms of master craftsmen, woodworkers, artists, and seamstresses. I remember as a child in the late 1960s playing endlessly at my grandparents’ house before being called to eat a formal Sunday supper. Manners were strict and not negotiable – don’t clink on Nana’s china settings; please and thank you; sit up straight, don’t slouch; never, ever an elbow upon the dining room table.
Nana was a painter, and her family portraiture hung throughout the house. Baba’s wood carving tools hung neatly upon the tall pegboard walls so he could see everything at a glance. I grew up with the sights and smells and feel of cherished artifacts of our family patrimony. And not once in all those years did I ever consider what would happen to all of it upon my grandparents’ passing!
The Present: Many of those hallowed furniture pieces, china settings and now tarnished silverware constitute my interior décor. But there remains one unconquered…wild …untamed… chaotic…room. Just one room left to organize, layered with family artifacts like a relational archeological dig. I have now no excuse whatsoever to take the time, during this national hall pass we all have been given, to finally honor my ancestors and clean that one remaining room. File. Fold, preserve or discard. Scan, or compile into picture books, or consign to my memory and throw away forever. My life project that no one else in my family can do. I am the family curator, and my work lies before me right now.
What is your great undone life project, something significant that you may have out off? Is this unexpected season of sabbath the perfect time to accomplish it? Perhaps we all have a task which has been waiting, patiently and quietly, for us to address, an important task which only we can do. If not us, then who? If not now, when?
- In this unique time, is there a life assignment left unfinished that social distancing provides a perfect opportunity for us to finally complete or even begin?
- If there was one such task you would look back upon this time and say, “Well, thank God I took the time to do ______,” how would you fill in this blank?
- If you could begin, today, with one small and achievable motion to begin this work. What would it be? Why not now? Why not this?