What is your treasure?
With all the chaos, confusion, and “bad news” that we are saturated with every day, and seemingly every minute of every day, it’s no wonder people are looking for an escape … even if that escape is just the “fantasy” of discovering a lost treasure of gold, silver and jewels. Wouldn’t it be nice to dig up such a valuable chest that you could leave all the chaos and confusion behind and just live in peace, not caring about what’s happening across the country or around the world? I sure would. I think we would all “take the money and run away.” If only it were that easy. Many people, however, find that the “hunt” to discover treasure provides such an escape, and is not at all out of their reach … depending, of course, on what their treasure is.
If to you “treasure” means one of Captain Kidd’s buried pirate loot chests, then you may have a long and difficult quest ahead of you (although such a worthy endeavor would certainly provide you with an escape into the world of treasure hunting. ). However, if your “treasure” is time spent outdoors along a river, on a beach, in a park, in the mountains, or underwater, and your discovery consists of discarded relics, thrown coins, or evidence of the story you have seen or is taking place for the first time, your search is likely to be fruitful and satisfying.
I can’t tell you what your “treasure” is. Only you can do that. However, I can tell you what my “treasure” is. My treasure is discovery. My treasure is putting together pieces of a historical puzzle. My treasure is to be where the story happened and relive the events stuck to the ground. My treasure is not just identifying where something happened, but why it happened. I see history, not just as a collection of names, dates, places, and events, but as a connected series of causes and effects. There is probably no better example of this cause and effect relationship to history than the Battle of Gettysburg.
Being on that battlefield … where countless lives were changed or extinguished forever … walking the grounds following in the footsteps of those soldiers brings life to the land. I can feel the motivations that moved the troops this way instead of that. Feel the desperation to conquer terrain, maneuver your pursuers, and survive. Like nowhere else I’ve been, the Gettysburg battlefield saturates you. This is what motivates me no matter where I go and no matter what I am looking for. When I evaluate the terrain, find evidence of the event and “relive” the actions, I have found my treasure. And if I find a trinket from the event, I get a real emotional boost from my efforts. I’m here to tell you that you’ll get a feeling of euphoria when you find a mid to late 1800s ox slipper along an old pioneer wagon road. It provides a connection … a sense of belonging … roots. Sure, finding a cash box would be great. But, just because I didn’t find that box … this time… it doesn’t take away from the feelings of accomplishment and connection that the old ox shoe provides. And the thing is, anyone … everyone … no matter where you live … can participate in this “treasure hunt”.
In our overregulated world, there is a substantial and vocal segment of the population hell-bent on depriving you of the opportunity to discover, to search for your treasure. They have passed laws, regulated activities, blocked access, and tagged treasure hunters and treasure hunts with derogatory labels. In some places, just being there is “breaking a law.” Picking up discarded items is a crime. Participating in work to recover gold, silver and, in some cases, rocks and minerals is grounds for “invoking the law.” Two really simple things you can do are: 1) Obey the laws that currently regulate an area, and 2) lend your support (voice, writing, whatever) to prevent, modify or repeal these outrageous regulations and regain reason and reason. sense of sanity.
Everywhere from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific, pioneers, travelers, and adventurers of all stripes sought new terrain and a new life. Armies moved from here to there. Abandoned villages were built and turned to dust. But, the story is there. The evidence is there. Find the evidence; live the story; find your treasure. And if you search and find that cash box … don’t forget to share!