Bright Shiny Things

I’m wondering what image these words evoke in your mind? For some it could be Christmas baubles on the tree, others might think of diamond jewellery, others the shimmer of the moonlight glistening on the water and others the magic of a sparkly rainbow.


For each of us, the words ‘bright, shiny things’ creates a different image in our minds, yet the words are the same for each of us. What it really means is something (an object) which attracts our attention and is something which we desire, and it also probably helps to create a smile on our faces!


I’m lucky enough to be having a mini-break for a few days. In Tasmania it’s winter, it’s cold and today has a grey sky. This morning I went for a walk on the beach, and as I walked my eyes were drawn to a small, beautiful piece of driftwood laying in the sand – pale in colour and well tumbled by the ocean. It was smooth to touch and for me was a ‘bright shiny thing’. It appealed to me and I bought it back, so I could continue to admire it. It definitely brings a smile to my face, and will continue to remind me of a few beautiful days here.


Some of you may be thinking: ‘that’s not me – I don’t collect driftwood. That’s not ‘bright and shiny’. For each of us it’s different. Nothing has meaning (or value) except the meaning we give it. It’s a bit like the saying: ‘One man’s trash is another mans’ treasure.’


What are your ‘bright, shiny things’? What attracts you? What puts a smile on your face?


And, what about your children?


Often when we go walking with young children they insist on collecting things – sticks, rocks, flowers, leaves or shells – or all of them! One of my daughters collected rocks – boy that made for a heavy walk home for Mum! For her, at that point in time, it was a ‘bright, shiny thing.’ Others are attracted to particular clothing or collections they have of toy cars or a range of books. Our interpretations of ‘bright, shiny things’ changes over time. The stones which held value for my 4 year old, no longer attract her. It’s the same for us whether we are children or adults – things change.


It’s not always possible nor appropriate to bring home the ‘treasures’ which we find. For example, things found in a National Park need to stay there as part of the environment. This can be a valuable learning for children – that even though they ‘want’ something, they can’t always have it.


As you are with your children, be it at home, in nature or at the shops, notice what it is that attracts them and lights them up! Sometimes it will be appropriate for them to collect the item and other times it won’t be. At those times, utilize the moment to teach them of the value of leaving the object there. Eg shells left on the beach may become a home for a small creature, and that rainbows can’t be bought home (I know how persistent some 3 year olds can be!) but that you can take a photo of it to keep.


Life is always an opportunity to learn and grow – if we are willing! And, ‘bright, shiny things’ give us an indication of what appeals to us, at different ages or times in our lives.


Enjoy your ‘bright, shiny things’ this week – be they jewels, flowers, rocks or photos of rainbows, and I will enjoy my hot mug of coffee as I admire my piece of driftwood!


Happy Parenting!