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Have you ever noticed that some people have the gift of giving well? I’m thinking of those people who always come up with the most perfect gift in the world and yet it’s a gift which the recipient would never have thought of. Me, I spend a full year pondering what gifts to give and still come up with lame-assed things that probably end up in the bottom of a drawer or in the new-to-you bag.

I received an outrageously wonderful gift from a friend who is always a good gift giver. However, this year she outdid herself. IMG_0331

I have decided to call this guy Beowulf. I learned that by tracing the name Beowulf back to its Old English roots, it may have come from the term “bee-wolf” otherwise known as “bear.”

Now Mr. Beowulf, here, is a pretty fine gift. He’s a heavy, brass, well-formed fellow with a quizzical expression, and you’ve gotta love those scholarly glasses. But along with Beowulf came the following poem:

For Linda
Christmas and Birthday 2012
 When you open this gift, you will wonder why?
I have many reasons but offer three.
Remember the print of the bear paw—early morning on fresh snow? You carefully snapped a photograph, and continue your hike, alone, down the trail. Most would have run the other way. courageous you!
A domestic scene. You sit at the kitchen table with book and computer and—is that pencil and paper, also? You peer at me over your reading glasses perched an inch down your nose—that noble, prodigious nose. Adorable you!
Then, there is the seduction we share. Millions of books lure us with promises of insight or laughter or knowledge or escape. We share this love or is it lust? Profound and provocative you!
Reasons three, I promised. Another—the greatest of all—clamors to be heard. You chose to be my friend when no one else did. I was a stranger in a strange land and you took me into your life and heart. Gracious and giving and loving you!
So many reasons. . . .

Of course, I received many wonderful gifts from friends and family, as I always do. And choosing one gift over another is a bit like choosing one child over another. You love all your children but you love them in the different and unique ways. How about you? Have you received a gift recently that particularly seized your heart?IMG_0332