Fragments of Souls

It’s difficult for me to throw away pictures of people. People I love are the hardest, not really surprising at all. But a close second are the people pictured on packaging, especially if their faces are meant to evoke the workforce that brought the product to me.

Of these, one of the most difficult is the man pictured on the back of the Equal Exchange 72% Cacao chocolate bar wrapper. His shoulder shrugged slightly, his head tipped to one side, and his smile a beam of innocent joy. Another is the Sari-wrapped woman on the Tulsi Raspberry-Peach tea box. (You and I know that this is a tisane, not tea. Tea comes from the tea plant, Camellia sinensis, white, green, oolong, or black. All those other things are infused herbs, flowers, spices, etc. Tulsi, Ocimum sanctum, a.k.a. holy basil, is a medicinal herb and it is indeed holy, because when caffeine’s had the better of me and I want something warm, this is what I have.)

None of this explains how these people’s images have become pasted to my heart, like decoupage. Perhaps it’s the gratitude I feel for having received the products from some far off equatorial land. I imagine the labor of picking leaves or cacao berries, the drying process, all those hands and souls touching these Earth-given items – the whole of all it took for me to find them on the other side of the continent or world.

Perhaps it’s that I believe these images contain fragments of people’s souls. If I save one and put it on my vision board, it might spare all the other little images covering the planet in far flung landfills or recycling bins. Then maybe on my vision board I can wish for them all the deep abiding richness I’ve found in life. A richness and prosperity that comes from having found profound love and belonging. Yes, that’s what I want for them. Yes, I really do.

Jan coaches high-performing individuals and leaders seeking a deeper sense of integration. She serves on NVW’s faculty as a Mentor Coach.


Photo by Riza Rifshandya on Unsplash

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