This year it will be 20 years since I unwrapped and de-boxed my Swiss Army Pocket Knife on my 7th birthday. 20 years since it left a centimetre long scar on my right hand finger as I hurriedly closed the knife on my way to school – my first of many long lasting scars that provide a memory to stories that I will never forget, and never want to. The scar is not only a reminder of the knife, of my third grade teacher, my classmates, the year I learnt the Easter bunny wasn’t real but still had hope for Santa Claus, but the beginning of a life of adventure and curiosity. Of rejecting the norm, always wondering, always exploring, and always asking why. A seed planted by my encouraging parents and nurtured by my siblings. A seed that grew and prospered, sometimes neglected and nearly withered away but one that ultimately thrives today.
This knife accompanied me on almost every adventure. It became my security blanket when I was exploring the world and getting the best education money couldn’t buy. When I was alone it brought me comfort, clarity when making decisions of importance. Let’s be honest, it’s never saved my life in the literal term but it sure has played a fundamental part in developing it.
It has never been sharpened, never serviced, never failed, never broken, and never repaired. No material possession of mine has come close to providing the level of reliable service of this Swiss manufactured army knife, and nor do I expect anything ever will.
Would I have explored new heights, wondered off alone, tracked kangaroos, climbed the tallest trees, scaled the highest mountains, if it weren’t for the literal and physiological safety the knife provided? Maybe not. Perhaps I would have followed the crowd, stayed at home, stuck to “the path”. Who knows, I certainly do not spend a great deal of time wondering the alternatives, for in my opinion that alternative reality is a bleak one.
20 years we have wondered the globe, navigated the unknown, repaired everything and anything, opened bottles, feared for our lives, so many stories, so, so many more to come.