The Valuable and Valueless

Living my life in harmony

Spirit is a master weaver, weaving together fragments of our lives in miraculous and wondrous ways – even when years separate the threads and they seem to have no connection until viewed years later when at last they meet unexpectedly. 

This story spans decades and transforms the tragedy of a fire into a gift, and a long ago forgotten verse, written about a train ride, into a symbol to teach me that age doesn’t affect the knowledge that remains safely sealed within…protected even from the ravages of a fire.

By the time I recognized the connection, more than 30 years have passed and I have a high enough view to see that many patches of experiences stand between them – like the view from the window of a plane at takeoff and landing, when the earth below looks like a patchwork of squares.

I have kept a journal ever since I was a girl. Unfortunately most of my early writings were lost when a fire to my home destroyed half the house, including the whole top floor where my bedroom and my journals were located.

Looking back, I can see that it was a purification of my past, erasing the materials and memories that no longer served me. At first I mourned their passing, not so much the material – for I knew that could be replaced – but my journals were gone forever  except for snippets still alive in my memory. I didn’t yet know that I had lost nothing valuable.

Years after the fire,  after I had been studying A Course in Miracles, read the text and completed the workbook lessons, I began to understand what this passage from the Manual of Teachers meant and could see the experience of the fire as training in the development of trust.

M.1.A copy

The fire removed what was valueless (all of my personal stuff) but didn’t touch what was within me to keep – the glimpses of Truth that has no regard for age or wisdom or time, told in a story, a poem, a dream, written in my mind, to be used as a symbol by Spirit whenever helpful.

One of the writings that stayed with me is a poem I wrote at the age of 21 when I was traveling in Italy from the city of Ravenna on the northern Adriatic coast to visit Florence for the first time. As I sat on the train reading The Agony and the Ecstasy a biographical novel of the life of Michelangelo, my excitement grew as I was anticipating sitting on the same steps of the Duomo where he had had so many mystical discussions with Leonardo da Vinci.

As hard as it was tearing myself from this captivating book, the passing landscape outside the windows of the train, was stronger and soon I became lost in a meditation, lulled by the rhythm of the train. This short poem is the result.


Trains taking me through this land of-2

May you always live in harmony,


And now, over to you. Share your thoughts, experiences and questions in the comments below. As always I love it when you stay engaged.

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    24 thoughts on “The Valuable and Valueless

    1. I think you could easily expand on this one more and more as so many are experiencing the stripping away of false mind, moving into “right mindedness”. Ah, surrender, freedom. Those tricky things the mind struggles with but the heart is so willing to experience, in fact, makes us experience. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Wendy, what a beautiful and insightful comment! Yes, the ego mind struggles but it is no match for the willing heart.

    2. Anyone who’s been through the loss of physical “stuff” can relate to this post, Silvia. At the end of the day, the material goods only mean so much, and as painful as it is to lose some of it, the experience reminds us that what really matters is how we live our life. Beautiful story!

      1. Absolutely Lily! It seems we have to go through it to realize what’s truly valuable and what isn’t. This is the gift that comes from loss. Thank you so much for your beautiful comment.

    3. Interesting that I should happen to stumble upon your post today, Silvia…just yesterday I listened to a lecture that Marianne Williamson posted to her website…a talk given to Google employees about how to live a divine life and attract abundance. You have been given the gift of abundant wisdom…not many would be able to mourn the journals in the way that you did, with grace, and the realization that the fire happened for a reason. Here’s to a life of harmony and to you continuing to touch and inspire others through your abundant wisdom!

    4. Touching post Silvia. Living a harmonious life does not come from accumulating material belongings, it comes from living from the heart, from operating from a place that feels good & right to you.

    5. Silvia,

      I absolutely love your writing and thank you so much for sharing your perspective. It is beautiful.

      I am now hungry for good Italian food and life and travel : )

    6. Silvia, what a insightful poem you wrote at a ripe ‘ol age of 21. Seems to me, even at that young age, you were already in-tuned with your values and core principles. Now you can tell Silvia the 21 year old that you stayed true to her…wonderful!

    7. Silvia, you did it again! This is so timely for me and well said. Even at 21, you had all that wisdom inside of you. You are an old soul… I’m sorry for your experience but love the insights you gained. I agree about the role that material items play in our life. I just released a bunch of my “stuff” and I feel lighter in every way. Beautiful post!

      1. Elise, great advice for anyone you wants to lose weight…get rid of your stuff. Thank you for your sweet comment. That wisdom is in all of us all the time. It’s just more buried in some than in others.

    8. You have such a way with words, Silvia. I love reading your articles! This is such a good lesson and a good reminder of why we perceive what we perceive. I’ve been a fan of A Return To Love and am only now reading A Course for the first time- this is especially timely. Thanks for sharing your story. Beautiful! x

      1. Anne, I’m thrilled that you’re reading the Course! Please feel free to reach out to me with any help you may need. I know it can be quite confusing. And stop back here because I’ll be writing about many of the key principles. Thank you so much for your kind words. It means so much to me!!!

    9. what a lovely and heartfelt post, silvia. i am just coming to grips with a few items that have been lost forever to me, items that connected me to my beloved mom (who is no longer on earth). your words help – in a very real way – to soothe the ache for me.

          1. Peter, that’s music to my ears! Especially since I know what’s really happening is that I’m being written through!

    10. Silvia, I love your poem. I wrote a poem which I would consider harmonious about trees. It is one I value safely in my memory. I never travel without exploring the passing scenes with my eyes, trying to see what was in its’ past.

      I am glad to see the differences between “valuable and valueless”. I tend to save so much that I now can see as valueless, and I hope to get rid of that “stuff”. Thank you for your insights. Carol

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