We all keep them around — those little things that remind us of other things. Most married couples wear rings that, according to wedding ceremonies, represent “outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual bond.” I come across my old wedding ring from time to time. It reminds me that I need to trade it in for money!
I recently took inventory of some of my most prized outward and visible symbols (OVS). My beloved pom-pom Barbie doll is a very important OVS to me these days for she recognizes and celebrates all my accomplishments, even when they go unnoticed by others. By pressing or squeezing a few buttons on the apparatus attached to Barbie’s back, I can get Ms. Barbie to twirl, throw up her pom-poms and do some high kicks — all the while cheering, “Good job, Mary Gordon! Way to go, Mary Gordon!” I must admit that I provide the cheers while Barbie is cavorting, dressed in her very stylish cheerleading outfit. Still, I take her praise to heart.
My current most valuable OVS is a picture I took on a beautiful July morning after my two-year-old grandson William and I had harvested the day's tomato crop. We had followed our precise ritual of picking the tomatoes, putting them in a green bowl, washing them, and eating them. I snapped the picture after he had removed his treasured red boots and before he moved on to the washing and eating stages. This picture captures the essence of being a grandmother and reminds me that "the only two things money can’t buy — that’s true love and homegrown tomatoes.” (Thanks, Guy Clark!)
Rocks used to dominate my OVS collection. I’ve repented for hauling off some big rocks from construction sites that had been cordoned off with yellow tape. Those rocks remind me that my house will never be featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. A small rock that I pulled from the Colorado River around
Hanging on my bedroom door is a 4” x 6”
Mexicana Airlines baggage tag that I’ve kept from a trip to
When I’m feeling unconnected and I’m wondering about the meaning of life, a quick glance at an OVS lifts my spirits like nothing can. “Good job, Mary Gordon!”