Between the giver, the receiver and the gift there is no separation – Maezumi Roshi
The world can seem stingy, competitive and cruel. Or it can seem generous, welcoming and kind. A single gift can make the difference, and it always comes back to us. The gift we offer is the same gift we receive. Like the coffee we put into our cup, what we pour out is what we drink in: all of it an inseparable extension of our own hand.
The world I share with author Katrina Kenison is welcoming and kind, because she is, and she brings that out in me. It does me no good to bemoan how rare this quality is in any of the realms I occupy. Cups look empty until we fill them again.
In Katrina’s two books, Mitten Strings for God, and The Gift of an Ordinary Day, she welcomes us into a world infused with natural wisdom. She is the kind of mother we all are, aiming to change her family life for the better amid the inevitable undertow of change itself. She doesn’t pretend to know how. She doesn’t make any self-satisfied assessments. She simply follows her instincts into blind curves and doubt. Settle into the pages of her memoirs and what spills out is the fullness in every mother’s wistful heart.
How we all wish that the sublime sweetness of our lives would linger, that happy would last, and that time would somehow slow down. How we all wonder what we’re doing, question where we’re headed, and shudder at the deep shadow of uncertainty that trails our every move. When I opened Katrina’s latest book, I found myself smack dab in the thick of it, facing the same threshold she traces with exquisite honesty: the goodbye years, when our children boldly wrest their first taste of freedom, and we vainly grasp the last bit of control.
It’s hard to see the gift in such a worrisome struggle, but it’s there in Katrina’s gentle telling. Only in the passing of time is there presence, only in empty is there full, and only in giving away do we receive the gifts we keep forever.
I’m giving away a signed copy of the most beautiful book I’ve read this year, the new paperback edition of The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Give yourself a chance to win by leaving a comment here by this Friday, Oct. 8. Then give yourself two chances by tweeting this:
RT @kmaezenmiller Giveaway: Gift of an Ordinary Day by @katrinakenison http://bit.ly/c9ykny
You might think I’m being generous, but I’m not. I’m being greedy for the good stuff.