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Rain And Other Gifts

December 5, 2014

This morning’s rain has left crystalline beads suspended from the bare tree branches outside my window. The meadow glows bright with new-green. Last Spring’s fawn, now looking almost grown-up in her thick chocolate coat, has been grazing in one small patch of the new growth for at least 15 minutes. Her coat keeps her immune to the rain; the rain brings her food. IMG_2521I wonder if her deer-brain is conscious of the rain as a gift? Although we in the Pacific Northwest may grumble about the rain (especially towards the end of January), the lush green it brings is a gift the whole year.

The fawn wanders off to nibble a few remaining blackberry leaves and my thoughts return to the concept of gifts. ‘Tis the season, after all. I asked the Fairies about gifts and gratitude a few years ago. This is part of what they told me.:

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.

IMG_4943Gifts can also be invitations. When The plum trees blossom in Spring, there is an invitation to bury your nose in 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. Giving a gift begins a cycle of gratitude.

Now that the insanity of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and similar craziness are behind us, maybe we can take a deep breath or a walk in the woods and focus on the simplicity of gifts. A friend who took part in building the Fairy Fire Village (see the post below) sent hundreds of bulbs to be planted in the Village. Yesterday, a local friend helped me plant them. Not only was her help a great gift, the sharing of the experience, she said, was a gift for her. She still owns a small patch of woods in her native Cornwall and has fond memories of planting hundreds of bulbs on that land, so having a chance to share her expertise with me was a gift for her. In the Spring, when the flowers bloom, they’ll be a gift to everyone who sees them plus a feast for bees and other pollinators.

The one gift of bulbs becomes part of a cycle of gifts that nourish many others. As you choose your gifts in this season of gift-giving, let the deer and the rain be your guides. Hug someone.

Fir Bear

Smile at them, even if they seem a little strange. Put a feeder out for over-wintering songbirds. Choose gifts that nourish the heart, invite others to play, and engage the mythic imagination.

(Hint: There are lots of gifts that fit this description on the Fairy Woodland website.)

© Bridget Wolfe, 2014

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sierra permalink
    December 6, 2014 9:03 am

    This has to be one of my favorite newsletters so far!! This time of year people tend to be so easily distracted away from the true meanng of the Holidays and what ‘giving’ and’sharing’ are really about. The Holiday ‘gift giving’ creates so much stress, chaos, violence, and WASTE.
    I have been thinking about trying to put together a movemenet in Portland to shift people from purchasing farm raised trees for decor that will just be tossed out or burned come the new year and instead purchase living trees that can then be planted in the new year. I feel the symbolism of planting a tree that will then grow with you is a much better symbol of starting a new year than throwing away what once was a beautiful tree that brought us joy.
    Well, I am rambling now, just wanted to thank you for the wonderful thoughts!

    Love,
    Sierra

  2. Victoria permalink
    August 3, 2017 10:52 pm

    Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017 across America starting in the Pacific Northwest on the northern coast and Portland area. Check online for times to experience this universal wonder in your area. Peace to you all on this earth.
    Old FairymAMA in West Linn, Oregon

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