Sunday, February 15, 2015
Giving Our Gifts Makes Us Rich
GIFTS VII. June 15, 2014
The daily commerce of our lives–“sugar for sugar and salt for salt,” as the blues singers say–proceeds at its own constant level, but a gift revives the soul. When we are moved by art, we are grateful that the artist lived, grateful that he labored in the service of his gifts.
–The Gift, Lewis Hyde
How hard it is to live in present time,
relish the moment after the hens are put
to bed, and the night sky breathes its
blessing down on our heads. Each
day may feel familiar, but it has never
come before, and out there somewhere,
in the minds and hearts of other people,
messages are forming. Yesterday,
when I took copies of Bertha’s writing
and my own about her to her son,
his smile was beatific. How glad I
am that Bertha hugged me that Valentine’s
Day in the post office twelve years ago.
We became friends. Today we bury
her, but her gift keeps moving, and so
does mine. I praise Kathleen I scarcely
know for her big gift, and I can tell
it lifts her spirit. Edith helps me find
who the people are in my grandmother’s
diary kept in China a hundred years ago.
She says she has to get back to her
own work, but she keeps helping me.
If I could save this village from the
fracking companies about to descend
and ruin our land, homes, lives, I
would. I chip away, and I can tell
I edge some people closer to
comprehending the harm with which
we are threatened. Every one of us
is fragile, and yet some of us are
tough, too. So little we control,
but if we give our gifts as best
we can, we all grow rich.