I seldom pack the medicine bag anymore. The things tucked away from public view and held close to my heart by a worn leather strand were not a part of the days teachings. Yet on two occasions I had taken it with me to visit a friend. The bag was special, but more important the contents held sacred value.
The day went well in bringing new insights to the students there and to my own private visions. Sometimes we heal in order to be healed. Sometimes we teach in order to be taught. Yet, in the end I was exhausted and finally home.
The bag sat for a day on the office table with its suede looking beaten down and dirty. With a quick thought to clean it, I pulled the leather cords apart to remove its contents. To my surprise, the blue sapphire teaching ring fell out. Where were the other items?
The teaching ring had never been a part of the medicine. There was no ready memory of having changed out the contents. The ring still slide on the heavier fingers.
With an old toothbrush and some vinegar, I scrubbed the bag clean.