In the climax of the devastating earthquake chimneys danced on the red tiled rooftops. Some of them crashed on their way to the ground, shattering to pieces and others were toppled over stuck on the lip of the roof gutters. In their absence was a gaping void, an open sunlit channel from the barren attics to the limitless blue sky above.

With repairs now commencing in the aftermath of a mandatory quarantine the city is slowly coming back online. The ambient soundscapes of the capital are now being heard once again. The metal wheels of the tram scraping the tracks, the pounding of hammers against the buildings as workers continue restoring the facades, children playing and running around in the nearby playgrounds.

A new renaissance has ignited the local collective despite the occasional sight of a masked face and gloved hands. Littered in the streets are remnants and scattered memories from a time that existed long before I ever was born. As the attics are emptied in preparation to fix the damaged rooftops the sidewalks are covered in a cloud of dust. On almost every block there is a large pile of trash, furniture and discarded materials that are ready to be taken to a garbage dump where it will be forgotten forever.

Cruising through the city centar I stumbled upon an a heap of once cherished items.  A newspaper dated from 1979, stacks and stacks of books written in Cyrillic and a box of broken ceramic coffee cups decorated with brown stains were randomly piled together. An explosion of thoughts stimulatd the intellect as every piece of material seen has its own story and in this heap is a thousand stories that will never be told again.

A large signage, black with white hand painted lettering proclaims the name “Grandissimo.” As I gaze upon this artifact from a business that no longer exists, I imagine that this sign was created by an entrepreneur that fostered the intention from thought to tangible conception and now this is last memory of that idea. Back into the void, the idea comes and so does the idea return.

Poised and positioned in front of the pile is an old rusty tricycle glistens in the shadows of the street light. Maybe this was a birthday present once given as a token of admiration, or perhaps it was opened up on a beautiful Christmas morning and received with surprise, gratitude and excitement. I could see a seated child with a smile a mile wide that enjoyed riding to and fro with absolute delight.

“How often do we place great importance on the material tools that are created and designed to enhance our overall quality of life but in the end they all end up in the same place?”

A collection of treasured materials can fill a home but without love, the home is nothing more than a storage shed. In a culture conditioned with acquiring the latest technological gadgets, name brand clothes and over priced items which are deemed to be exclusive in order to create a greater gap in supply driving high demand, we are left to continuously chase external fulfillment rather than embracing what we already have within ourself.

How often do we place great importance on the material tools that are created and designed to enhance our overall quality of life but in the end they all end up in the same place? Is there nothing greater than the heartfelt experience to see another in a fleeting moment of happiness that compels our innate desire to share and give gifts? These tangible items inherently bind us by their acquisition and maintenance for the allocated time that we own them, but in the grand scheme they have very little importance.

As a child I was filled with a unique ambition and initiative to manifest. Whether it was mowing someones lawn in the Summer, helping a family friend chop wood for the Winter to keep their family warm or painting a bench for a woman on my newspaper route I would do a myriad of odd jobs in exchange for money. At the age of 11 I was able to purchase my first bike, a brand new white bike from the local department store. I distinctly remember watching the store employee pull the bike off the rack and the feeling I had in my body as I wheeled the bicycle from the back of the store all the way to the register to purchase it with the cash that I had saved from all my odd jobs.

Raised in a background of poverty where I only received hand me downs and used possessions, the impact of that moment is forever ingrained in my psyche. On that day I discovered a new treasure from within that I never knew I possessed. As I rode the bike all Summer long I felt an overflowing sense of accomplishment. The bike was just a tool, a vehicle that became a symbol of initiative and self-determination. Now that bike is somewhere in a landfill, once cherished and now discarded just like the old, rusty tricycle never to be ridden again.

Despite the disadvantages of my upbringing I never consoled myself as being a victim. Rather than using the limitations of my conditioning as a crutch I used it as a catalyst to create dynamic change. I made every movement forward. As life continued in uncertainty, I was inevitably faced with a fork, either take the paved road or forge my own path and take the road less traveled. Driven by a fearless motivation and the welcomed embrace of the unknown I embarked on a journey that spanned the globe and still continues to this day.

We all possess great potentials to facilitate change not only in our own lives but in the lives of all those around us. When we use these tools that we have created to foster growth and encouragement, there is no limit on what we can manifest together. The potential to share not only material possessions, but also ideas will allow us as a collective to thrive exponentially.

When you give yourself the freedom to explore you will see that there is an abundance of resources within you — waiting to be discovered and once you find them you will flourish in more ways than you can imagine. ~ ༺ 𝓖