Gifts come in all shapes and sizes.
When I was about five years old, my family visited a friend’s house in Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s not hard to find forest in Flagstaff. It’s basically everywhere around you, and I have a lovely memory of walking down a dirt road, surrounded by trees, toward our friend’s house. It had recently stopped raining, and the light all around us was rich and golden as the clouds moved away and the sun shone through. Our family friend told me that we were inside a rainbow and that’s why the light was so golden. I have never forgotten that moment.
Through my childhood eyes it was truly magical. I felt uplifted, joyful, special. My imagination ran wild thinking about how the rainbow must be reaching up from where we were. I still think about it every time I see a rainbow.
These kinds of gifts are the best kind, the kind that keep giving for a lifetime.
Years later, in high school, I made the Junior Varsity soccer team and suddenly was required to do more physical conditioning training than I ever had before. On our first day of practice, in fact, we ran further than I had ever run before. As we neared the turnaround point I began to walk — but then a voice from behind me said simply, “Keep going.” And I kept going. Every time I tried to stop to walk, this runner behind me said, “Keep going.”
I had never met this player before that day. She and I became good friends during the season, but never kept in touch after that. But I still hear her saying, “Keep going,” every time I’m out on a run and feel like I’m not going to make it.
We’re sending friends and family homemade cookies for holiday gifts this year. Baked goods hardly compare to the kind of simple gifts that keep giving for a lifetime, but in their way, they are wonderful. They are, of course, made with love and thoughtfulness.
These cookies are some of my favorites: Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl, Chocolate Chip, and Nutella Pinwheels. Plus ginger spice cookies from an earlier post. I found all the recipes online from other food blogs and websites, and that is a gift too. When we share what we love, we spread the love. And in my humble opinion, you can never have too much love. (Or rainbows.)
Recipes and many thanks: