These are basic nuts and bolts. They are the extra large version and work hard in industrial settings. Without them many elements of our lives would fall apart – bridges, buildings, and quite possibly hospitals. There is nothing fancy or particularly dramatic about them, they simply do what they were designed to do.
I found this pile of nuts and bolts at our favorite salvage yard. There were boxes and boxes of them, ready to be sold again and repurposed for some other structure or idea. I took the picture because I was intrigued that something so mundane could and would serve another life for who knows how long. It gave me hope to realize that no matter how mundane or simple life seems there is always more than we thought possible.
In a culture that worships youth and craves anything brand new, it is a welcomed reminder the everything has more to offer than what appears at first glance. Old and rusty simply means that it is time to find another use for it. Out of date or obsolete means it’s time to rethink and repurpose the worn out into another something that has yet to be imagined. It’s like pop bottles being turned into shoes and worn out tires being recycled into roadways. While it still exists there is an inherent use still somewhere inside.
We need to think that way about people as well. No matter their age or physical state everyone has something to offer. The end of a career simply means a chance to do something else with the energy and effort that can be focused somewhere else. People with time on their hands have the ability to serve, nurture and mentor those of us who are still navigating and finding our way. And just because someone did one thing for a long time in no way limits their ability to do something else moving forward. We simply have to rethink and repurpose how we think about ways to use their valuable skills and knowledge.
Maybe this box of nuts and bolts was there to remind us that no matter how simple or basic a skill or purpose may seem, it is important to utilize it until there is nothing left to give. The person who uses these elements will be glad to have them, thrilled at the price and knows exactly what to do with them. It’s a good reminder to us all as we transition from one purpose in life to another, no matter our age.