Sunday, December 20, 2009

Real Presents


My attitude and outlook toward gift giving and receiving underwent a radical transformation during what I affectionately refer to as the yoga ashram years. I realized this yesterday while blathering on about that period with dearly patient friends.

Before hearing myself give that soliloquy, I would have said my "issues" were due to a horrid combination of being unimaginative and picky. In addition, a loathsome collision of pride and pecuniary difficulties has often made it difficult for me to give stuff over the years. 

What a gift, then, to be given the space to reminisce about a time when many of the presents bestowed and received could not be gauged by conventional measures. Full, conscious, attentive presence was a real present. So, too, was time bestowed to gaze at the mountains.

Since "walking around money" was nonexistent, buying anything was almost out of the question, which made handcrafted stuff even more precious. The occasional bar of chocolate was an extravagance received with grateful delight.

These memories came flooding back as I left my friends' cozy home and made my merry way through the snow to buy a gift certificate to Whole Foods and to check if the much-coveted (by me) Chicken n' Egg toyhad been marked down yet from $4.50 at Pier One. It was!

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