Gifts of Love That Live On and On

No doubt I’ve mentioned before that one of my “love languages” is gifts. This is funny to me because I’m not a very good gift giver. Or maybe it’s just that I don’t like to just randomly give things; I want to give meaningful gifts. For example, we didn’t do much for Christmas this year, but I did give everyone in my immediate family (plus Anita and my neighbor Sara) t-shirts with the Hermits’ Rest logo and “Hermits’ Rest Ranch and Family Compound, Walker’s Creek Texas, Est. 2012” on the back. Most had their name on the front, too. I did this to support a local woman who started a t-shirt business and to celebrate ten years of the ranch. That had meaning to me. Of course, no one has worn theirs, but that’s fine. It’s the thought that counts.

And that’s the deal right there. Because gifts from the heart mean so much to me, I treasure them, often for years and years. I have carted some items that probably appear meaningless with me everywhere I’ve moved, because my heart softens a little bit when I see them.

Tiny, stained decoupage pansies my mom made for me. Been with me 40 years or so.

And when I look around my house, I’m reminded of people I’ve loved throughout my life, as if they are with me and supporting me wherever I go and whatever is happening to me.

Fu dog from Delores, my high-school boyfriend’s mom.

Sure, the minimalists think that things are just things, and they may well be correct, literally. But I’m more like a Japanese Shinto practitioner in that for me, objects have spirits, vibrations, or special meaning that is more than just their utilitarian form or function. As I often point out when someone says I’m rather “woo-woo,” there are many things in the Universe that we humans do not yet understand or may not even be capable of understanding, so who’s to say there aren’t special vibrations or connections between objects and people who have made them or touched them?

Mandala from India given to me in 1987 by Alice Davidson, a grad school mentor.

I know I put a lot of love into things I make for people that I hope somehow comes through to them. And I feel love from things people make for me or buy with me in mind. I feel little internal hugs when I am reminded of these dear souls.

My therapist/friend made me this mama bear necklace with protective stones around the time of my divorce from my kids’ dad.

My motley collection of objects helps me feel grounded and connected to my community, my spirituality, and my planet. I feel the love from long-departed loved ones through their gifts, and that brings me contentment and peace. That’s worth having to deal with a bit of clutter, I think.

Teapot from Mama Rose, my friend Jeff’s dear mother.

(And if you don’t like my clutter, don’t hang out with me!)

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