A thin flat piece of material (usually wood) fastened horizontally at a distance from the floor to hold objects is defined a shelf. Of course, the objects placed upon the shelves are completely left to the one owning the shelf. The following picture is such a group of shelves.
Let's see. There are cups and plates along the lower most shelf. It would certainly be helpful in getting to them when all the family was around to eat.
The next shelf contains a radio, clock and some unclear items. Music and time...or time for music...or just what time is it...could all be handled from this shelf.
The third shelf contains plants. It looks like ivy. Plants growing over the plates, clock, radio, and those things below. Granny must have been a good plant "grower" and "waterer" to keep things out those objects below. [She did love plants.]
The forth and fifth selves contain some objects that were probably not needed very often. Jugs, fancy cups, a plate nailed to the side, etc., etc...those kinds of things you want to show, but not have any touch. [Or break when I was around.]
The shelves of our lives contain all kinds of stuff. They tell others what is important to us in a way that nothing else can tell. These were Granny Ewen's shelves. What do your shelves tell about you?