Looking for a Rare Treasure? Look Into the Human Face

Dear Reader:

I remember as a child hating going into old antique stores with my aunts and great-aunts. It was their favorite thing to do but at seven or eight…those stores smelled musty and moldy and dusty to me. I spent most of my time sneezing while this or that aunt oohed and aahed over this “rare treasure” that “so and so” must have…simply “must.

I would stare at the object…usually some kind of chair, table, or ottoman and think “Has Great-Aunt Eva lost her marbles?” ( “That is the most uncomfortable chair in the whole store and that table would take up the whole kitchen and then some???”)

I wanted to go to one of the ‘modern’ department stores with new shiny toys in the windows…all fresh-smelling and sparkly…along with wonderful perfume aromas coming from certain floors as we rode the elevator up to each one….that was so cool!

In Mark Nepo’s first popular, award-winning book (The Book of Awakening) he chooses a completely different formation for his idea of a “rare treasure”...human beings. 

*(Title Photo) Eva Cate was four when little brother Jake arrived on my birthday (September 24)…and the family was a little concerned that Eva Cate would have a hard time adjusting to new competition after being an only child for so many years… but she surprised us all!

She was mesmerized by her baby brother and wouldn’t stop holding him and just staring in his face like it was the most wondrous thing she had ever seen…Nepo would say she experienced a moment of “awakening.

… Nepo continues: “There is a Buddhist precept that asks us to be mindful of how rare it is to find ourselves in human form on Earth. It is really a beautiful view of life that offers us the chance to feel enormous appreciation for the fact that we are here as individual spirits filled with consciousness, drinking water and chopping wood.

It asks us to look about at the ant and the antelope, at the worm and the butterfly, at the dog and the  bull, at the hawk and the wild lonely tiger, at the hundred year old oak and the thousand year old body of water. It asks us to understand that no other life form has the consciousness of being that we are privilege to.  It asks us to recognize that of all the endless species of plants and animals and minerals that make up the Earth, a very small portion of life has the wakefulness of spirit that we call “being human.”

...But we are blessed – in this time, in this place, to be human beings alive in rare ways we often take for granted.

All of this to say, this precious human birth is unrepeatable. So what will you do today, knowing that you are one of the rarest forms of life to ever walk the Earth? How will you carry yourself? What will you do with your hands? What will you ask and of whom?

…Today we are precious and rare and awake.  We are ushered into grateful living. It makes hesitation useless.  Grateful and awake, ask what we need to know now. Say what we feel now. Love what we love now. We have the wakefulness of spirit.”


Guess who came yesterday and surprised me? Michael! And what a fabulous job he did…after showing you the “natural” path yesterday…he cleaned up all the paths leading to the back…sidewalks, driveways…it really looks so good…after months of leaves and fallen branches, twigs, and pine cones.

Thank you Michael…what a blessing you are to me… helping me keep this big yard and garden up…I couldn’t do it without you and your hard work!

*Luke sent these photos of Belize and Chelsey -who looks like a model… while Belize looks like Utopia! So glad you are having fun Luke & Chelsey! Safe travels!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to Looking for a Rare Treasure? Look Into the Human Face

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    The picture of Eva Cate with Jake is absolutely beautiful…catching up on the blog…my daily fix for happiness…


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