There was a sweet surprise on my desk yesterday. A folded piece of purple construction paper said “for you” and inside was a rock and a little “I love you” from one of my students. Now first of all, you have to know that I LOVE rocks, although I don’t remember ever communicating this fact to my students. I collected them as a child, I have them on my window sill, I have some on my desk in a little basket. I have rocks I picked up at the beach twenty years ago! Second, a little background information. We recently read Franklin’s Christmas Gift. Franklin is confused about what to give for the annual toy drive. At first he is selfish and wants to give a broken truck, but by the end of the story he gives away his prized marble collection. So now here is the rest of my rock story: I asked my student where she got the pretty rock and she said, “I have a collection.” I just about cried! That rock is going to stay on my desk until I quit teaching!
And yes, this morning I polished up a rock from my collection to give to her.
Last week I failed to mention another heart-warming gift I received: a crocheted scarf made by a blind woman. I’ll wait while you think about that for a moment… Yes, a woman who is legally blind and can barely see well enough to feed herself used her time and talent to make a scarf for me. Not only that, but she asked her daughter to pick out yarn colors that I like. I was very touched, especially since she is someone I’ve only known for a short time.
And cheese! The FedEx man brought us cheese! There is no more perfect food than cheese. One of our friends knows that and sent us a gift box from a great little dairy in California. It not only contained a variety of cheeses, but dried apricots (Gary’s favorite) and dark chocolates (my other love). That’s a gift from the heart!
My point this morning is that a gift from the heart says that the giver has been paying attention. It doesn’t have to be something expensive or the latest “it” item everyone else is getting. A $2 cowboy hat ornament says “I was listening when you told me about your Western themed tree.” A pretty seashell says, “I remember the time we spent at the beach last summer, do you?” Something specific to your likes and needs says “I know who you are.”
That’s a gift from the heart.
(The photo is me with the first elephant Gary ever gave me.)