I unloaded a recent gift onto our kitchen counter this morning. I was given an entire cooler FULL of fruit picked straight from our friends’ orchard. Plums, peaches, pears and apples are spilling out of bowls. My daughter and I have been baking all day. Peach cobbler is in the oven, two apple crisps are on the counter and after I write this, plum kuchen is up next.
I just finished reading Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen and one of the characters, Evanelle, is a big gift giver. An elderly woman, she walks around with a duffle bag of gifts for particular people. Her home is stocked with bizarre items she gives away with a purpose. She will get a thought like, “Claire needs a hair-band, Bay needs pop-tarts, Fred needs a mango pitter”, or “Emma needs two quarters” and she will go off and deliver the said items. She never knows what they are for, she only knows she is supposed to give specific people certain things. Sure enough, every gift comes in handy.
In the novel, not everyone knows how to receive. Like in real life not everyone does well being the gift receiver. They feel awkward, blush, look at their feet. We often prefer to be the giver, right?
I am working on my receiving skills. It takes practice to be grateful instead of feeling awkward. It takes time to learn to look others in the eye and not at my feet and to receive their love, their gift, the bounty before me with grace.
When I was given the cooler full of fruit I wasn’t sure what I would do, but I knew it would be great. I have been giving handfuls away and baking with my daughter scrumptious deliciousness all day.
My friend who grows the fruit, loves giving it away as much as eating it himself. He delights in the whole process of growing the fruit. He is passionate about his peaches, plums, apples and pears. The work it gives him fills him with joy. You can see it when he picks them from their branches. It is evident when he slices the fruit and lays them out to dry. You can see it when he hands over a cooler full of gifts.
What would happen if the next time you received a gift you behaved like you deserved it instead of acting unworthy? ‘Cause that is part of the problem, right? We don’t feel like we deserve such goodness.
But we do. Everyone of us.
Gifts are to be given. It is up to us to receive.
by J.G. McGlothern