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About Gratitude and Gifts

December 1, 2010

Fairies love celebrations and don’t ever like being left out (remember Sleeping Beauty?!) so we’re careful always to include them in our holiday rituals. On Thanksgiving, we filled small plates with bits of our feast including pies and whipped cream, then added chocolate and a small glass of wine and took our offerings to the Fairy circle, accompanied by visiting family.

We explained the purpose of the human holiday: that it is a time to pause and give thanks for the bounty in our lives, for all that the Earth provides to nourish our bodies and all that the love and companionship of family and friends gives us to warm our hearts.  We each told the Fairies one thing that we were most grateful for. Nine year old Bryan summed it up pretty well: “I’m thankful for everything!”

The Fairies were so pleased to be included in our celebration that they shared with us their thoughts about gratitude and gifts. We’d always thought of giving thanks for gifts but the Fairies tell us that gifts themselves are a way of showing gratitude. Since we are headed into the season of gift giving, we wanted to share their wisdom with you.

Gifts, they said, are a form of touch. A gift can be a handshake, a loving caress of the cheek, a bear hug, or a kiss. Like a handshake, a gift can say, “I’m pleased to know you.”  Like a hug, a gift can say, “I cherish having you in my life.”  A gift lets someone know we value them, that we are grateful to have them as part of our lives.

Gifts can also be invitations. When a Fairy helps a flower open, there is an invitation to sniff it and enjoy the fragrance. When a human accepts that invitation, he or she finds a moment of pleasure in their day; when a bee is drawn to the scent, it gives a gift in return by pollinating the blossom, allowing the flower to become fruit, which then becomes another gift. An animal accepts the gift of food that is offered by the fruit, eats it, then deposits the seeds (along with the gift of natural fertilizer) somewhere else so that the seed can grow into another plant that will grow and offer gifts of flower and fruit.

Such is the pattern of life in Faerie: gifts given not from obligation but as part of a natural cycle of appreciation that passes the gift on in another form to continue the circle. As you select gifts this holiday season for those you are grateful for having in your life, please explore the Fairy Woodland website. It’s filled with ideas for gifts that are invitations to engage the mythic imagination and create enchanting “fruit” to nourish the spirit and pass on the gift.

Bridget Wolfe

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