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For then I touch the gift, not of the bounty within, but of the Wrapper. I can almost see the formless smile, shining down with fatherly pleasure at the child ripping joyously through the wrapping paper.

Why, Tatty, why?

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But even as my mind is wondering, I am reaching, and holding plumpness in my palm, and sliding my nail- no artificial implement- and bursting out the bounty, fresh and lovely-

And in that movement, I feel a caress- A soft, airy blanket, thrown over me, that you can barely see, but you can feel, and know; a coverlet of care, gently spread over me, warming my heart without my mind needing to fully understand.

Smiling inside warmed by the formless smile spreading over me as I twist and pop. Not for the gift, but for the gift of the giftwrap.

I don’t see Tatty’s face, and I don’t even look up, and I don’t even say anything in return.

But I keep on peeling garlic, clove after clove, until there is no more left to peel.

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