Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Destiny in Chance

"There was this chance that a family would move away from their home lands into a world of unknown. From there some sort of desire...The desire to explore, lead a little girl to a secret place hidden from the outside world. There in the woods of destiny the rain uncovered the magic just beneath the surface..."

Are we each connected by some preordained destiny? Is fate decided by the embrace of opportunity or lack there of? Is it fate or chance? Maybe both?

I was about seven years old when my family moved from our heritage roots of coal mines and the hillsides of West Virginia into the foreign lands of corn fields and cow pastures in middle Tennessee.

Along the edge of our property line there was a small wooded hillside. Being the explorer type child that I was, I lived for days of playing among the large trees just behind our property. With all my heart, I knew that one day, when I was old enough, I would move into those woods. That place would one day be my new home. I knew it was a special place. It was... and in a way I did eventually make it my home.

One afternoon, after a hard rain I followed a small water run off down into the woods. I remember the sun shinning through the trees, sparkling against the random murky puddles of water that littered the ground. An unfamiliar glimmer caught my eye. It was a broken plate sticking out of a mud puddle. I began to dig. I found several piece of broken china that day. I went from explorer to archaeologist in a day! I was hook!

After each rain I would wander out into the woods with nothing but a sharp stick in my hand. I was fully prepared and equipped to uncover the buried treasure that laid hidden just beneath the surface.

I found several broken pieces of unknown glass a few broken glass medicine bottles and broken figurines but I kept digging for I just knew that one day I would uncover something great... something in its entirety! One day I did just that! I cant remember the weather or the way the sun hit it but I remember the feeling I had once I uncovered it! I was excited... beside myself excited! I ran all the way home leaving my precious tool (my sharp stick) behind. I showed my mom and we were both in awe. I uncovered a jewel of some sort, a broach maybe? No matter what the purpose of the jewel was, it was indeed my buried treasure!

Fast forward about 14 years later. I am sitting at my In-Law's house. We were discussing family history. The house that I grew up in was brought into the discussion. After giving the address and description of the property, comes to find out my husbands Great Great Aunt lived in a little house (that had been torn down) on the far side of that piece of property, placing the old home not far from my excavating site.

There had only been two other owners of the property, one of which built and live in the house we lived in and then my husbands Aunt whom lived in the old house that was torn down near the woods. Logic leads us to believe that at age seven I unknowingly uncovered what was a family heirloom! One day I will pass this treasure down to my daughter.

My husbands ancestor built memories in my life far before I ever even met him. Each broken piece of glass was a part of their family history... Uncovering it became mine...




  1. What a wonderful story Leigh! Finding a treasure is one thing, but to have it relate to your own family history is really awesome. Your daughter is very lucky to receive such an heirloom, one rediscovered by her mother.

  2. Your story reminds me of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" by Hans Christian Andersen. The loss of something dear to your family only then to have it returned through an odd progression of happenstance.

    HA, I hope that made sense . . . I apparently need to stop drinking before I try and post comments. :)

  3. WOW....that is a family story to pass on for sure. That's so neat. When I read your last 2 lines, it gave me chill bumps. I wonder, did his Great, Great, Aunt, lead you to that spot, at that time? Gosh there's just so much to think about with this story! You are such a good writer! I love stories like this!

  4. Wow..that is amazing girl! I love..LOVE things from the past. How neat, to find something from your husbands ancestors...We are suppose to take our boys digging for arrowheads on our lease this summer. I am still a Tomboy..Lol!

  5. What an amazing and beautiful story. It makes you wonder how much is really by 'chance' don't you think?


  6. Reminds me of all the bits of history I would find on the family farm I grew up on. I don't think I ever came across anything as cool as an heirloom brooch though.

  7. A good read and digging for Treasure is a favourite of mine too ! Very good blog !