Laura E. Richards, who grew up during the Civil War period, penned a story “The Golden Windows.” It has all the sound of a traditional folk tale and may have been one. (It became one after Laura wrote it out, at any rate.) A friend told a version of it recently that I like very much. I’m passing it on to you during this magical season.
A young boy lived in a house across the valley from another house, and each morning when the sun rose behind his own home, he could see the “windows made of gold” on the house across the valley. His amazement soon turned into unshakable desire, until one day his father told him to take a day off from his usual farm work and go and actually see the golden windowed house for himself.
He set out on a quest to find these windows of gold. He travelled all day, down trails and up trails, over rough terrain and as he arrived at the cottage across the valley, the sun was just setting behind the other house. To his great disappointment, he discovered the windows of the house were simply windows of glass, and not of the gold he had perceived all this time. Sadly, he turned to gaze back toward his own home, and to his amazement, saw that his own windows gleamed of gold in the sunset. The lesson: which the father bestowed on his son was: “Everything we desire and want is right where we are — we just need to recognize it all for what it truly is. We should always be grateful for the blessings we already have.”
These are difficult times for ourselves and our families, but the old truths still abound if we look for them. We need to mine the gold in our own lives and keep it at the front of our thoughts as we face each day.
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