Hey Friend! On my adventures I collect treasures like a little kid – rocks, leaves, shells, pinecones. They make me so happy! Each one is a little piece of art. I like to collect these little treasures to remind me of all the fun of my adventure as well as the feelings of awe I felt the day I collected them. It’s a simple practice that brings me joy and gives me a natural and free medium to create with. A win-win! Maybe you’d like to become a treasure-collector too. I’ll show you what I do.
I started doing this with my children walking our neighborhood or hiking in the canyon. I remember picking up yellow autumn leaves, pinecones, and seed pods and inspecting their tiny perfect details with my kids, then taking them home to display on the countertop for a couple days.
I still do this. Whether I’m at the beach, in the mountains, or even walking the streets of my own city, I’m on the hunt.
This makes me super aware of the beauty around me and it elevates casual outings into moments of awe.
But I don’t just pick up any old thing. I’m picky. I have to love it. It has to have some kind of meaning for me. Maybe I love the color or its shape is interesting or symbolic. It needs to feel good in my hands and bring me joy.
What to Collect?
What kinds of things do I pick up and add to my collections? Let me show you.
Jar #1 holds treasures I’ve gathered on morning walks through my neighborhood: pine cones shaped like a rose (I’d never seen anything like this until I moved to our new city and found these!), twigs full of red berries, lavender stocks, acorns, and fragrant greens. These walks are filled with earthy smells of pine and dirt after the rain, sunlight and shadow, and the filling of my soul as I listen to scripture on my headphones as I walk. These treasures remind me of the inspiration I feel on these morning walks. And they’re just beautiful to look at – every tiny detail!
Jar #2 holds the treasures I found while first hiking along the Presidio down to the ocean shore just past the Golden Gate Bridge with my family. We had just moved to our new city and although our hearts were nervous and full of anticipation, we opened them wide to our new home. Each little ocean-side treasure was like a little gift to me saying “welcome home!” and hinted of the adventures to come. Sand dollars, washed up bleached driftwood. Seashells. Pebbles polished by the constant drumming of the surf.
Jar #3 is my collections of mementos from our trip to Italy: tickets from museums, hiking passes, receipts from the best restaurants, business cards from our favorite gelaterias, a tiny branch from an olive tree (with olives on it!) from Tuscany, stones and sand from the Cinque Terre shores where we swam and kayaked, a chunk of carrara marble, and leftover foreign coins. I want to remember every detail of that magical adventure and these tiny treasures bring it all back for me.
Jar #4 is home to treasures found while exploring beaches along California State Route 101 from Carmel to Santa Cruz: dried out seaweed pods, driftwood, rocks, and shells – pretty jewels of the sea! These treasures remind me of tidepooling with my family, discovering awe-inspiring beaches like Shark Fin Cove and it’s massive crashing waves for the first time with my husband, and the thrill of the ocean with salt on our skin and sand between our toes. It makes me feel like the world is full of expansive possibilities.
Jar #5 is my collection of treasures found while hiking ancient redwood forests in Northern California. It reminds me of my triumphant six-mile hike at Caleveras Big Trees State Park. Months before I had been sick in bed. But slowly healing came, my strength and stamina grew, and I was able to do that hike with my family. My first big hike since being so sick with lymes disease. The chunk of redwood bark, forest moss, pinecones, and bits of pine twigs in this jar signify healing, hope, confidence, persistence, and victory.
How to show off your treasures.
Here are five ways you can store and display the treasures you’ve collected on your adventures.
If you’ve already collected treasures, find creative ways to display them from some of these ideas. If you haven’t yet discovered the joy of the treasure hunt, Friend, give it a try! I think you’ll be amazed at the joy you’ll feel searching for and finding little prized possessions from your adventures.
Share in the comments the treasures you’ve found and how you’ve displayed them in your home. I’d love to see them!
And just to make you smile, I thought I’d share one last picture. My cat Zorah thinks she has to be right in the middle of whatever I’m doing. As I was setting up for photographing for this article, she got right on top of the mat and nudged the treasures with her nose. Silly cat.
You’re welcome 🙂
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