It is the nature of gifts to freely rebound in their passage, creating reciprocal bonds. ------Robin Kimmerer
Stories of rebounding gifts. Sharing your stories will give your gifts wings. -----G. Hill
Bonding Concern for a pair of crows scrouging for food in the dead of winter, the Steinke family generously put out peanuts and water for them. (See link below) This gift reciprocated in ways that amazed the Steinkes. The crows decided to show their gratitude by leaving “thank you” gifts. Coins, acorns, brightly colored stones and buttons were frequently deposited on their doorstep.
When I was getting settled into my new home in Southern New Jersey and living alone, my neighbor, Bill, would pick up the morning paper and place it at my doorstep. That small caring gesture was what I needed. It softened the edges of transitioning as I adjusted to my new life. It said "Welcome Home" each morning.
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Paying It Forward Being a pre-dawn walker, it was easy for me to reciprocate by quietly placing newspapers at the doorstep of our retired Floridian neighbors. Then COVID changed everything. Isolation is hardest for the elderly, so I began to leave short cheerful messages on notecards along with the morning paper. It was a small gesture to soften edges during a frightening time. ***
Then to my surprise, in sweet refrain, my neighbors began to leave gifts for me. Stuffed animals, books, flowers from the garden, chocolate and just yesterday a beautiful hand crocheted blanket from Mary D.
Earth offers us her gifts. What can we offer back?
Every moment of our life on earth births something in the soul. What shall we plant in return? – Thomas Merton
*** Soon after the notecards, with friends and family members hospitalized, I realized a need for a virtual note card. That was the start of this blog, "A Communal Hearth".