The best gift
The best gift… rarely comes wrapped and under a tree, but takes the form of wild flowers discovered. On my way to Isabel’s house for tea.
The best gift…is very rarely found in a shop, but is made by a friend, ladled into blue and peppered with conversation.
The best gift… is open and kind, wise and questioning, opens the world and opens some more.
The best gift…a place where chickens clickety cluck under the shade of an evergreen shrub.
The best gift…a den vibrant with colour, painted or sown, pruned or branching. A garden, a shed, a backyard for dancing.
The best gift… is not the latest toy, it is not gendered for girls… it is not gendered for boys. It grows, it is planted, it turns from green to red, it is a patch of raspberries in your garden bed.
And in this cupboard there lies a surprise. Not linen, nor pots, nor saucers, nor plates…an egg laying nook, a good place for a chook.
As I wonder around Isabel’s home, I’m thinking and thinking of the presents I see. Patterned fabrics of black and white, printed fabrics luminous and bright…
Steps leading upwards into a canopy.
Fresh greens for snacking, for salads for picking…
Seed heads…and hands ready for planting.
And after school Nellie comes home in search for a hug. She reaches down low under the evergreen shrub and snuggles her face into feathered warmth.
The best gift a family, the best gift is peace. A handful of grains, a lemony twist. The best gift a mother or father with father or mother with father, or mother with mother. The best gift is song, or a friend’s company, a few gentle words, a climb up a tree, a meal cooked for you, a chicken or two, a raspberry patch and a cuddle to match.