Be Playful

Digging for Gold: The Search For Buried Treasure

Posted on: 16 May 2008

Photo by *L*u*z*a*.

Bring out your inner pirate in the search for buried treasure.

One of my favourite toys as I was growing up was my brother’s pirate Lego. He had pirate ships with working cannons, numerous islands with secret caves and trap doors, parrots, monkeys, muskets, wooden legs, and most of important of all: buried treasure.

We would spend many a happy hour pitching the ‘baddy’ pirates against the ‘goody’ English navy. Needless to say, the pirates always won, and came away with more treasure that they had plundered in battle.

When bored at school, I also used to pass the time in daydreams, drawing pirate maps on scraps on paper: treasure islands with swamps, jungles, and mountains, and an X to mark the spot.

I have grown up to be a bit of a pirate. I love looking for treasure albeit no longer on treasure islands. Where then do I find my treasure today?

In other people

Every person you meet has a story to tell, the dreams that have come true, their dreams that have died, the fears that plague them, the rhythms of inner joy and peace or hatred and loss that mark their face. Each has treasure within their soul to share if only we would have the courage and take the time to stop and listen.

It is often the people that we spend the most time with, or that we love the most, that we forget to keep searching for the treasure within them.

Sometimes finding treasure in others means braving some stormy seas or searching through dark caves: getting to know another person’s true self is rarely an easy journey.

Photo by angela7dreams.

In myself

When I take the time to pause and think, to truly engage the world around me with my inner being, I am always left in wonder in the creativity and playfulness that resounds from within me.

Of course, there are times when I stop and listen to my soul, and all I can hear are my fears. However, if I did not stop and listen to my fears I would not be able to face them and move on.

In cyberspace

So many blogs promise great treasure – ‘the true X that marks the spot is here’ they all shout, vying for our attention. It is true that many blogs are great treasure troves – far too many for a single person to explore.

Despite this, many blogs make false promises, offer false dreams, or give easy answers that can prevent us from truly living.

There is so much treasure online that it can be overwhelming. It is tempting to merely skim the outskirts of all the beauty, and never engage with it properly, missing out on all that it could bring to our lives.

Find the blogs that echo with your soul, join in with the conversation there, and your life will be all the more beautiful for it.


So often, especially for the majority of us who live in urban space, it is possible to live day to day without a passing glance at the natural world. Yet even in cities, nature surrounds us.

My girlfriend Siona loves looking for the ruptures of nature in the inner city. Recently she has taken great delight in watching a snail sneak through the city streets, spotting a woodpecker in the park, and making jewellery with daisies.

Being creative

Photo by tao zhyn.

As a university student I have found it helpful to understand my studying as the search for buried treasure. It is an adventure with many dead-ends and false leads, but also celebration when the gem is found that is perfect for my latest essay.

Your thoughts

Have you ever made a discovery that was like digging up buried treasure? The story of a loved one, or a new recipe, or a second hand book that no-one’s heard of, but that changed who you are?


18 Responses to "Digging for Gold: The Search For Buried Treasure"

Finding new friends in blogs like yours is also like a treasure for me. there is so much intellect and humor out there.

I found a “buried treasure” within myself when I started blogging. It didn’t even matter that in the beginning no one was commenting. I just kept writing, believing I was helping others with my words. Faith kept me going and soon cyberspace friends appeared. It was like magic.

Another fantastic discovery for me was when, after a year of searching online, I found the ship’s manifests that showed my grandmother’s name – when she came to the States from Finland in 1912. I shouted, “I found Gramma”.

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Thank you – I’m really glad we found each other’s blogs 🙂

Thank you too!

I am glad you had such faith in yourself. Your comments on my blog have helped to give me faith that my blogging is the right thing to do.

Finding your grandmother’s name after such a long search must have been a really special moment 🙂

Hi David – love the pic of the ship.

I feel that getting to know my partner has been a process of discovering treasure, actually.

Great reminder! Many of us are so busy running the rat race and going through the motions that we forget to pause and discover the beauty within and without.

Thanks for the post!

I love the analogy. I too look for treasures in people and the best part is the journey of getting to know a person. Also, I agree that online there are a lot of people promising riches. I have been cajole, duped, bamboozeld many times online but I have also found some diamonds on the rough.

I particularly love finding the treasure in other people. I’ve found it’s often the people that are the most difficult to get to know that yield the most beauteous treasure. But when you have that conversation that unexpectedly peels off another layer of the onion, you find the discovery was completely worth the time and effort it took to get there!

I’ve also come across the most wonderful treasure wandering around the city, and just being engaged in my surroundings. Watching children is a great source of wonder, contemplating social interactions and all always looking out for that plastic bag dancing in the wind!

You are absolutely right, David. Living life is the ultimate treasure hunt. This post, in my opinion, is a piece of the treasure you speak of. I am always thrilled to grab hold of an experience or writing that allows me to see things that I might usually overlook. It’s like finding that object or word in a seek-n-hide puzzle. The “treasure” is right before your eyes, but goes unseen because you may be looking too hard. But, that “aha” moment of finally discovering it is priceless. Thank you for sharing this post. It served as that moment for me and will help me (and I’m sure others) to recognize the treasures that we’ve become accustomed to passing by.

oh yeah! I can totally relate to this idea! A lot of the art I make is a quest to make ‘treasure’ rather than just art!

Thank you for the treasure of your post! I found it at the perfect time, just when I needed something to counter all the negative, jaded vibes around me at my workplace. I was literally just sitting here at my desk getting ready to start work and thinking about putting my headphones on to block it all out, and then I read your post and it reminds me that there is something to learn from everyone. Although, there is a time to hide and recoup a little, I need to remember to look for the treasure in others.

I know what you mean. Getting to know my partner I am always discovering wonderful new things about her.

Thanks for visiting and for enjoying this post. I really like your blog!

The diamonds online make it all worth it don’t they? Sometimes I find you have to work through a lot of ‘rough’ to get to the diamonds in people, especially in myself when I am trying to be creative. One thing I have found really useful for that is having an idea quota.

I’m really glad you found me! Thank you so much for visiting. I’m glad you say that about people who are difficult to get to know – I think sometimes I can be quite difficult to get to know, I tend to hide in my shell.

I miss seeing children in the city – there aren’t many around the university area.

Thank you for your kind words. I often find that when I’m writing I begin to see things in a new way, or notice things that have never come to my attention before. It can be all too easy to pass by treasure because you are so busy out looking for treasure!

I’m glad you can relate. Like you with art, for me writing is a search for treasure. Too often I am impatient and don’t wait for the treasure to well up within me.

Thank you 🙂 I’m really glad that you found this blog, and even better at the right time for you! I know when I’ve worked in some places seeing treasure in my work colleagues has been one of the most difficult searches for all. Stress seems to overwhelm and invade everyone’s identity.

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Finding this blog yesterday was finding buried treasure. So many blogs out there are about Goals And Plans and make life seem like hard work. It’s wonderful to see a blog all about play and randomness, and all the things true to my heart.

A great film, a great book, that’s treasure to me. Sometimes finding something that makes me laugh out loud at the unexpectedness of it.



Thank you for your kind words.

I also love the things that take my breath away, or even leave me crying, at their unexpectedness.

[…] silly; turning foolishness to wisdom celebration, n. playful memory curiosity, n. 1. remembering to look everywhere for goodness, magic and beauty, even when the world laughs at you for doing so; 2. refusing to […]

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