Some time ago, I trained in Iaido (Japanese sword) and really loved it. It brought great happiness into my life. I thoroughly appreciated the one on one teaching and the over all experience. All of this was in addition to the skills of cutting, drawing and using the weapon.
One of the best things about the overall experience was being surprised with a new sword at Christmas, thanks to my beautiful wife.. A brand new spotless, exotic katana (cutting sword), as sharp as a razor. . . literally. I treated it like gold, albeit very, very sharp gold.
Then it happened. My classes ended, much to my shock, surprise and disappointment. For reasons I could not control, classes simply ended. My sword now is not used very much, though I do bring it out and cut now and again.
For a while, I left it alone as it was unfortunately transformed into a symbol of disappointment and incompletion. I looked at the sword and simply missed the training. An association was established, even though it was not a conscious one.
Then it hit me like a stone. It was a sword, not a symbol. It did not contain the memories, or the lessons. It contained metal, sharp stainless steel. I have those stored away.
If I want to continue at some point, I will (That is inevitable.) The weapon will not dictate what I will do. My decision is mine alone, based upon desire.
I have learned a great deal from my sword. Perhaps the biggest lesson is this:
Joy is not in things; rather, it is in us.