Rising sun spreading its light across my lawn...
Not all gifts come wrapped in paper and ribbon. This morning, for instance, I caught a glimpse of the eastern sky at dawn. The rising sun painted the mist first pink, then orange, then gold as I stood, holding my breath. Not a leaf stirred, not a sound broke the stillness. It was a masterpiece being painted before my eyes. “Gee!” I breathed. What a gift of grandeur the world lays at my feet each morning.
I thought then of all the gifts I am apt to encounter on any given day, things I may pass off as ordinary and so neglect to be appreciative of. Just the other day I was riding my bicycle past a meadow bordered with crab apple trees. I was pedaling along slowly, wrapped in my thoughts, when a movement caught my eye. I stopped, turned, and looked directly into the curious eyes of a fawn. I was close enough to see its little black muzzle and the fading white spots on its back. We stared at each other for a long moment before the little creature gave a snort and bounded away. “Wow,” I sighed, knowing I might never again be so close to a wildling.
A day or so later along the same stretch of road I stood and watched a small, distant plane do lazy loop-the-loops in the pale blue haze of late afternoon. Suddenly the plane changed directions, flew directly over my head and performed some magnificent aerobatics. I realized I was being treated to my own personal air show. I waved my arms in wild appreciation, the plane waggled its wings in return and flew gallantly off into the sunset. “Thank you!” I shouted into the empty sky.
Occasionally the phone will ring and the voice at the other end will say, “Hi Mom, it’s me.” I will spend several happy minutes catching up on the news of whatever distant child is calling. The calls are not for any earth shattering reason – just base touching. There’s no box big enough to hold the happiness that comes from knowing my children are thinking of me. Those calls are gifts that warm my heart and feed my soul.
There are daily gifts – a hug, a glimpse of the sunrise, an unexpected compliment, something besides bills in the mailbox, a spectacular sunset. There are seasonal gifts – the first birdsong sung on a spring morning, the lovely wiggle-your-toes-in-the-sand feeling of the first day of summer vacation, the smell of wood smoke drifting on the haze of an Indian Summer afternoon, the perfection of a snowflake. There are unexpected surprise! I’m here! gifts, like an impromptu visit from an old friend or a brilliant rainbow arching through the still falling rain. Now that I think of it, I’m knee-deep in gifts I can unwrap with my senses and my attention. Gee! Wow! And thanks.