EnvelopeWhen they are born children are handed a single white envelope, tightly sealed and filled with nothing more than the hopes, dreams and best wishes of their parents. They are told to guard this envelope well as it will one day open and reveal something important about their future. Starting out life clutched by small soft hands, you would expect the envelope to be lost.

Despite some envelopes travelling widely with their custodians, some envelopes becoming folded, misshapen and worn, they are never lost. Envelope secrets are not shared even amongst the closest of friends. Their mysteries are proudly protected and deeply respected.

…And still the seal remains unbroken.

Over time this envelope magically fills with the memories of our heartbreaks, our successes, our failures, our loves, our losses and all the moments in between which come together to form a life.

…And still the seal remains unbroken.

In all that we do the envelope is there with us. Sometimes we may pause and reflect on all that it contains and the promise of what it will one day reveal. Without this envelope we would be nothing. As we grow, it grows.

…And still the seal remains unbroken.

Then one day something strange begins to happen, as fat and as full as the envelope has become, it starts to thin out little by little, day by day. Even though nothing seems to have changed, it continues to waste away. Eventually it becomes nothing more than what it was when it started…a single white envelope, tightly sealed and seemingly filled with nothing.

…And still the seal remains unbroken.

We soon realise that without us even noticing, something has most definitely changed. All those individual memories and moments, hopes and dreams that our envelopes once held can no longer be singled out. They have come together and formed part of us, becoming part of our collective experiences, becoming part of who we are. We have finally grown up.

…And still the seal remains unbroken.

It will happen one day unexpectedly. You may be returning home from university one day, walking in the front door after a gruelling day at work, or relaxing with a smooth bottle of wine. Whatever the circumstances, it will happen. Your envelope seal will come unstuck and reveal the contents within.

Your life is your own, everything is now within you.
Please dispose of this packaging thoughtfully.

…And so the seal has broken.


  1. jan

    Lovely metaphor. Personal responsibility needs to be part of everyone’s life.

  2. Ricardo

    Yes we are shaped by the events in our life. There are indeed all sorts of things that can open that seal and yes, it happens when you least expect it but it’s a great moment.

  3. Tracey

    Hi Jan – I can always count on you to share some of your lovely thoughts. I could not agree with you more. What has happened to personal responsibility? It seems to be becoming somewhat of an ancient art no longer practiced.

    Hi Ricardo – Completely! Even though we may not always realise it at the time, everything that happens to us in each and every day plays its part in our lives. It is often only later that we look back and reflect on those moments that have passed.

  4. John

    Hi Tracey,

    I love the idea of this being a seal not broken… until that one sacred moment.

    This is, oddly enough, hugely relevant to my own life right now. You write with insight and sensitivity, not to mention a kind of transcendent spirituality that does you credit.

  5. Pam

    This is a beautiful and thought-provoking post.

  6. LuckySnap

    Another wonderfully thought post Tracey. I love how I just have to smoothly read through your post without even thinking and then it all falls into place at the end. Your story sorta comes full circle like that.

  7. yash

    hi, really made me stop and think. Amazing and very touching post. I will cherish this for life.

  8. Tracey

    Hi John – Thank you for your beautiful words. I can always count on you for some positive affirmation and inspiration! I’m not too sure whether this little piece came from, but I’ve learnt not to question the elusive muse for fear she will disappear. I’m so glad you were able to see something of your own life in my writing, there is nothing more which makes me happier than to be able to share words with others, and when they make sense to the reader it is a definite bonus.

    Hi Pam – Thanks so much for your comment. I know that when this story came to me in certainly got me thinking, so to do the same for someone else is a real privilege.

    Hi LuckySnap – You are too kind! (but such lovely compliments are always gladly received). One of the things that I always try to do when I write is aim for really ‘clean’ prose, so to hear you say that things flow smoothly really brings a smile to my face.

    Hi Yash – I really appreciate your lovely comments. Thanks so much for stopping by and spending some reading time here with me. I really do love getting such kind visitors!!

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