Saturday, July 7, 2012

Snow Globes & Plastic Bubbles: Why I Write

     Do you remember those red vending machines that used to be at the front of every grocery store, drug store, and restaurant?  The ones brimming full of those plastic bubble encapsulated treasures we used to covet as kids?  In went our hoarded pennies, nickels, and dimes, and out popped a handful of kaleidoscopic sugar or some prize we would carry around with us for a day until it was broken or lost in the haste of running off on a new adventure.  The plastic bubbles were dropped, accidentally stepped on, or tossed in the trash by our mothers when they were cleaning house.

     Our lives are full of plastic bubble moments that fade quickly or get left behind in the chaos of running forward.  While we speed forward through one season of life into another, tackling school, jobs, marriage, and family, we travel across a land strewn with plastic bubbles.  In plastic bubble land, moments, people, and words get tossed out, casually overused, and cheapened.  So why do we write at all or bother with putting our two-cents into the massive ever growing word machine in e-space?  Possibly we are still holding onto more than plastic bubbles with child-like hope and praying that every once in a blue moon some breath taking beauty will take shape and pop out instead.  Something more like a snow globe.

     You see, our lives also contain definitive sparkly moments we cherish just like one of those snow globes our mothers would pull out of boxes before Christmas and then place upon a shelf or windowsill where it could be kept safely away from inquisitive chubby hands.  My mother had one she kept in her bedroom.  I relished the feel of stealing away from chaos and chores into the forbidden territory on tip-toe so I could sit on her tidy bed in the tranquil coolness, twist the knob underneath, and listen to a dreamy tune while I breathlessly watched sparkly bits float and drift around the scene illuminated by the starry, stranded lights outside her snowy window.  It not only gave me a moment to breathe, but the time also connected me with my hopes and dreams for the future with the eyes of a child.  We all have moments in time, people, and places we cherish in our hearts like this.  Every now and again we need to unpack our memories, brush the dust off, and shake them around so we can keep in touch with ourselves and listen to the tune of an older season gone by.

Where do I begin?
     However, as we mature, we realize we will have to navigate and negotiate through a vast ocean of memories and moments.  Precious time slips through our hands like sand slipping through an hourglass and sometimes we find it necessary to choose what we will hold onto and what we will let go of as we are swept forward.  Knowledge comes at us in short bursts and long painful climbs.  Along the way our collection multiplies, tucked away for safe keeping in the hallowed halls of our hearts and memorial chambers of our mind.   We will more than likely come across places in time that we discover we must pause and clean house to make room for growth and lighten our load.  A daunting task, we can struggle with knowing where to begin sorting through it all.  Somewhere in the middle of our messes God patiently shows us what to let go of and what to hold onto.  We eventually learn to see the difference between cheap plastic bubbles and cherished snow globes.

Ingenious artwork by Camryn Forrest Designs

      I've been writing ever since I was a little girl.  As an adult my childhood love has become more than a hobby.  It is a link to Jesus, the cornerstone of my life, as well as a personal touchstone.  Most of the time I write to vent out whatever gets trapped inside the spaces within so it doesn't stay bottled up, bobbing up and down uselessly inside of some restless ocean in my heart.  Other moments I write for the delight of holding onto lovely snow globes in my own life.  It challenges me to cough up my two-cents while it gives me a chance to steal away for those slower moments in a usually hectic life, much like I used to do as a child.  Writing has given me a way to reflect upon lessons of the past and who God is calling me to become.  My life, as yours, has been littered and blessed with collected moments I have needed to clear out or have another look at.  I pray you are able to enjoy all of the moments of your life and whatever they have in store for you.  I hope that here you may find a word or two that helps you navigate through your own world of plastic bubbles and cherished snow globes.

~Shaunda M. Eck~


  1. I think of snowglobes much as you describe them: perfect little moments that punctuate the moods, the laughter, the highlights and even the imperfections of my life.
    The wonderful thing about snow globes is how you can pick one up, shake it, and watch the glitter or snow fall into a new pattern. Sometimes life could use that kind of shake up, too, an unexpected moment that puts everything into a new perspective.
    I enjoyed reading this thoughtful piece very much.

    1. Thank you so very much. Your post brings out a huge heartwarming smile this morning and I agree wholeheartedly with everything you say. Your snow globes are breathtakingly amazing and unique. I only wish I would have seen them sooner! They expressed so many facets of life and my own beautifully flawed experiences. I hope you continue creating new ones to shake up people's minds and hearts. Most of all keep on creating them for yourself. Bravo!