Recently I traveled to visit my Mom in Victoria BC, my first trip there since before the COVID pandemic.
An hour before I was to catch the ferry home (Victoria is on an island), my Mother placed a satchel on my lap and asked me to go through it.
I opened it up and it was the itemized contents of my deceased Dad's safety deposit box.
What do you put in a safety deposit box to pass on, I wondered?
Sentimental keepsakes, accomplishments, old love letters or secret real estate holdings?
Turns out it was pretty innocuous stuff.
Obviously, a safety deposit box is for keeping things safe, that through fire or theft one does not want to lose. But, I mused, there's another aspect to it.
We reveal something of who we are with what we leave behind.
In one sense, a safety deposit box is a snapshot of what we hold dear.
However, as complex as our humanity, what we also leave behind cannot be held in a safety deposit box.
The unspoken fingerprints we leave on people's lives, like our children, our friends and our partners, are testimony to the vulnerability and risk we've taken in being human to each other.
All the love and sorrow, joy and heartache that we live out loud daily to each other, impacts us all. And how deeply we feel and exalt in this life paves the way for those around us to learn by example.
Mahatma Gandhi observed, "The future depends on what you do today."
This is not a past preserved and saved in a box, but lived today for a hope and a future.