You never know what the day will bring you as you wake up, place your feet on the ground, and rise. Rise and shine. The gift of the day before you. It is here, today, ever present even when you do not think of it as such. It is a gift to you this day, to enjoy, to embrace, to have, to hold, to keep….the whole day. And that gift holds many other smaller gifts (or huge ones) ;oh that would be nice. LOL. It does not matter the size, it is thought that counts.
But what gifts are we talking about. Ones that are wrapped up in pretty paper and bow so beautifully, ready to be torn open to see what is inside. Like my sister who received a gift last Thursday. My younger sister and I went together to get a few items to send to her as a ‘cheer up’ kind of gift. No reason except to say thank you for being her. And also to give a little bit of spoiling as she has to live in a house full of men. No offence intended to men. Just like you know when you are outnumbered and there is way too much testosterone or estrogen, you need just a hot minute to yourself. Just saying. Anyway, she had a hard time opening the parcel as my sister likes tape. LOL. After much finagling she opened and voila….a Golden Girls mug that had a funny saying on it (not for little ears), soothing lotion, tea, herbal vitamins, eye gel massager, island treaties etc…. just a little something something to say she is loved. But the gift for me was her tears. Yep, got her. Thank you sis for all you do.
Or are we talking about another kind of gift? One that does not have wrapping paper or a ribbon or bow; a gift that comes in a different form, an unexpected, surprising and in some cases so unwanted form. But comes nevertheless. Do we see it as a gift? In that we should for, it is the gift of love, the gift of the world around you, the gift of life and celebration of life lived. Can we with arms spread wide to welcome whatever and to see the real importance of its value and worth in whatever way it comes. May pull at the heart strings, yes. May cause angst, yes. Nevertheless it is gift landing at your feet so to speak.
This week I received sorrowful and heartfelt news of three different people who had lost the battle to walking this earth no more. What kind of gift could that be? Well, beyond words that is for sure. One child, only four years old, lost the fight to cancer….so with love I put a yellow ribbon around a tree reminding me of the gift this little being gave….herself (blessings my dear). The second was a school leader who too lost her long battle to cancer. Being an educator, how many lives do you walk with, talk with, be with….and she did it spectacularly and wondrously and with a smile. Oh to say goodbye (especially leaving her family behind). And the final one was my dad’s BFF. Total surprise but battled many health issues; and it was his time. Boy he brought sunshine to my dad’s life…real warped sense of humour that one. My heart goes out to my dad and to the family and friends of many many years. Each in their own way gave an indescribable gift… themselves of heart, mind and soul. And so for that, a gift has been received and treasured from this day forward to all who knew and walked with them. Lasting peace now.
So then I look back on this week and think of the gifts laid out before me….life lived and witnessed. Like on my walk, when two young eagles standing in the grass next to the red cliff’s edge which I barely could make out until I drew near. They must have sensed me, more like Maggie May and her incessant yip….and broke into flight. Oh my goodness what a glorious sight as the two in tandem rose up quickly with their wings spanning wide and free, soaring overhead as they took off. Beautiful gleaming white on heads and feathered tails, body black as night, holding steadfast against the wind as they regally flap their strong wings gracefully o’er the fields to the grove of trees yonder. God’s Creation personified. Eagles are right up there with the blue heron which I love to look at too. What a delightful gift! And where would my phone be? Not on me.
Or maybe it was the gift of invite to attend a zoom prayer service for the woman, the school leader mentioned above, who I had the pleasure of meeting and working with her for a time. But having been a way being retired, I was remembered to be called to participate in prayer for her. Thank you. My heart teared. Or maybe it was the gift of discovering there are good people to meet, being kind in their words and for some reason have crossed your paths, whether for a short moment or a longer period of time. You do not know the whys but you embrace the gift for as long as you have it.
Now one recent gift I was so grateful for and just so menial in nature but thankful nevertheless. I was cutting the grass the other day and it was kind of warm doing it, But glorious sunny evening in fact it was just perfect to be outside. So you know when the breeze has a bit of warmth and coolness all at the same time.Well, I took the stretch of lawn and then whipped the mower around and the wind caught me just right….almost like that cool mist sprayer at Canada’s Wonderland. You know the apparatus near the water slide park and rides where you can get so hot and then you go into this space with the tall pillars and overhang, and it sprays out this cool light mist. Immediately your body goes into pause mode, grabbing the coolness from the mist, and your rejuvenated instantly. That was the feeling I got when cutting the lawn that night, an instantaneous breezy cool delight. Sort of like getting a cold one, like ice cold lemonade or maybe a cold beer (not me) or an ice cream at Cows Creamery.
Speaking of which. Now that was some kind of unexpected gift. Unlike many other parts of our country, PEI gets to have a bit more normalcy, protocols still in place, but getting out and going on family outings. Ergo, Frosty Treats Dairybar. Ice cream is NOT a gift to start off. FYI: Long story made short, I worked at an ice cream shack and tasted enough ice cream to turn me off of it. BUT. Fast forward, I am sitting with part of my family in my truck as my daughter goes to get some frosty treats. Well the gifts given were two fold…eating kiddy size soft ice cream and it being good and sitting beside my granddaughter sharing it!!!! Just plain vanilla soft cone but yum. I think they may have to look at the size again, maybe a tottie tot size. So the other gift was my granddaughter grabbing my hand and not letting go as she pushed her nose and mouth right into the cone. Yep. What part of your face little one, eats? Just saying. Thank you for the gift of joy and family.
Each day we are given gifts. Expected or unexpected, wanted or unwanted. Surprised or not surprised. Rendered speechless….the best kind. Recently a story was shared with me of a beautiful moment about a man who because of covid could not propose with gathered friends and family. So he invited friends and family to a place where they could gather unbeknownst to each other without breaking protocol….to a Costco. Bending down on one knee, after she met quite a few people she knew there but never clued in until she watched her then boyfriend kneel down and propose to her. Never going to forget that moment. What a gift for all!
Yes there are moments when you think no. I could do without that gift. Like when I go down to the beach and the flock of seagulls take off, and you are winged by their droppings. Wear a hat. But the gift of seeing them in flight, floating so gracefully. Or when you are taught that any gift given is okay. Reinforce being gracious. LOL. The way ones face may contort or twitch because you received a gift that is just not you….at all…ever. You gotta to love children as they can be quite blunt….I already got that or I do not like that colour or that’s for babies. But being kind…we receive, nod thanks, and regift to someone else. LOL. Just remember that gifts are given exclusively for you, whether unexpected or unwanted.
But one gift, the really unexpected gift, is the gift before you, to recognize the gift of others. Do we see each other, including ourselves, as gift. Not to toot one’s own horn but to truly give ourselves to another, nourishing and feeding the other. It could be like an onion (not that friends or people we meet are onions…meh) but peeling back the layers that unravel. Nothing gives me greater joy than making people see how they are to me. Building them up….not ego and puffed chest kind of building up…but be the gift of helping them see the gift they are. To be life-giving gift to them as they in turn are to you.
So today….Each day offers us the gift of being a special occasion if we can simply learn that as well as giving, it is blessed to receive with grace and a grateful heart. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach
The older I get, the better I understand that every day is a gift.~ Joel Osteen
The most beautiful gift of nature is that it gives one pleasure to look around and try to comprehend what we see.~ Albert Einstein
Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.~Mary Oliver
Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention~ Jim Rohn
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is God’s gift, that’s why we call it the present~ Joan Rivers
I look upon life as a gift from God. I did nothing to earn it. Now that the time is coming to give it back, I have no right to complain~ Joyce Cary
Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.~ Mother Teresa
Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers today and for all to know each are gifts.