Unexpected Treasure

Happiness can be found even in dark moments, and that’s something I have found to be true in my own life. Reflecting on that idea, I developed this fictional tale about the unexpected value that someone found in 57 cents. I hope you enjoy it:

Sanjay opened the car door and looked down in astonishment at the money sparkling before him. Many coins dotted that area of the parking lot, reflecting the bright sunshine that was beaming down upon them. 

It looked like a pirate lost some of his loot from a swashbuckling adventure. Sanjay bent over and picked up all 12 shiny pieces of that unexpected treasure next to his vehicle.

He counted one quarter, one dime, three nickels, and seven pennies. Fifty-seven cents. 

He always carried debit and credit cards in his wallet. It was so unusual for him to hold real money. He jangled the coins in his hand and recalled the youthful chatter around a wishing well years earlier.

The Lakefront Park in his hometown has a magnificent fountain. Generations of dreamers have tossed coins into it, hoping to have their wishes granted.

As a child, Sanjay and his pals had deposited numerous coins into that fountain full of dreams. With their ice cream cones in hand, they talked about how they wanted their future lives to be.

Often, he would wish he was older and had a huge house. A blue Ferrari. A spouse and family. A fancy tropical vacation. An early retirement. Above all, he had just hoped for happiness. 

Standing next to his car today, Sanjay looked at all those coins in his hand. He wished he was young again and sitting next to that fountain with all his friends. How amazing it would be to go back in time and just be a kid in that place for one more enchanted night.

An idea flickered in his mind. He dropped the coins and grocery list into his pocket, jumped into his vehicle, and drove to Lakefront Park. It was unusually quiet when he arrived, and no one else was there as he sat down on the fountain’s ledge.

He gazed into the water. In the rippling reflection, Sanjay saw a boy with a handful of coins wishing for his dreams to come true. Wanting to be someplace else. Older and successful. He also saw a man holding those coins today and wishing to be someplace else. Younger and full of dreams.

Sanjay squeezed the 12 coins in his hand and closed his eyes for several minutes. He felt 

something profound that he had not experienced before. He already had the most important thing he had wished for long ago: He was simply enjoying the moment he was in at that precise time.

Looking once more at his visage in that water, he threw all the coins into the fountain. He wasn’t seeking any more wishes. It was an expression of gratitude for finally getting his greatest wish: happiness. And to his great surprise, it had always been there with him, every day of his life.

Happiness is present in each moment. Sanjay finally realized this … through the discovery of 57 cents. 

This story is brought to you by that change in your pocket guy, Ron Blake. Contact him at [email protected]

Ron Blake

Ron Blake, a personal fitness trainer in Phoenix, has been training individuals and groups for 15 years. He has also coached high school cross-country and track teams in Indiana and California. He was born in Gary, Ind., and Indiana University awarded him bachelor and master's degrees (as long as he agreed to quietly leave the state!) Visit his website, www.myblakefitness.com for more information.