The gift of gratitude:
The card arrives with a tiny package, and normally I would have opened that first. Instead, I gravitate to the small, dark blue box.
Inside is fragile red tissue paper and a silver pendant of a tree. Its simple beauty catches my inhale. I exhale and just look at it. After a moment of staring and then finally putting it around my neck, I realize I still haven’t opened the card. It describes to me, in my friend’s comforting scroll, its meaning.
I look again at this shiny tree hanging above my heart and know that its message is a powerful one; one I needed to hear.
It reminds me to tend to my life, where I am.
It reminds me to honor the roots I’m growing, right now.
It whispers to me, as it suspends upon my body, that who I am in this space is worthy of nurturing, of love and care.
Much of a mother’s life is taking care of others. I spend the largest portion of my day making sure that my small children are safe, fed, happy, and generally tended to. My new adornment, however, reminds me that this “job” of mothering is exactly where I’m meant to be and, more, that this time of my life, although chaotic and stressful, is special and wholly miraculous.
This place in my life is exactly like this pendant: simple, yet wondrous and profound.
Its sterling silver is lightweight, and I barely feel it touch my skin.
This tender gracing of metal feels like the gentle press of a warm hand over my heart center; that strange, ethereal sensation of intangible love from another that nudges even the most scientifically minded of us to believe in something deeper than flesh and bones.
The skin underneath my eyes feels thin today; it feels tender and bruised because of my fatigue.
My husband heard me up with the baby and he got up so that I could go back to bed, but I couldn’t. I was already doing my making-coffee morning ritual and I didn’t want to try to go back to sleep, although I knew even then that I would be tired if I didn’t.
I drank my first smooth, slow sip of coffee with whole milk—the way I like it; this soothing ritual I perform every day—and I looked at the baby as she recline on my husband’s chest. They were giggling together, and I felt my fingers subconsciously move to touch my tree of life pendant that I had put on simultaneously with the water to boil in the red tea kettle on the stovetop.
These two people on our soft crimson couch—half of my own little foursome—are only two individuals in a giant place of many others, but, to me, they are my entire world, along with the other little girl still sleeping soundly.
And I know that I’ll have to guard my patience as the day goes on, and my girls test me, and I’m tired. I know, too, that I’ll wish my husband and I were going out for a glass of wine tonight, together, alone, but that I’ll be equally grateful and joyful at kitchen cooking and glasses of wine over top two tiny girls’ heads.
I pause and reflect upon my life, in this instant of living it, and I feel my heart swell underneath this silver circle of metal.
I’m grateful also for a friend gracious enough to send me gifts that make me feel loved.
This necklace, every day of my life that I wear it, will remind me to eagerly tend to my life in its present state, wherever that currently is, and to tend to my own self-care too.
I am a writer, a yogi, a wife, and a friend, among other things, but, mostly, right now I’m a mother, and I’m thankful for the magic that resides here plainly and invisibly, for me to daily open and appreciate anew.