Children gorgeously scream through their eagerness to give, a desire to touch your heart when they produce a piece of artwork that says ‘I made it myself’. Most of the joy I receive comes from knowing that for this particular masterpiece, they chose to give it to me.
A number of years ago I was visiting my mother when a lady I shall call Sue decided to pop by for the first time for a reason that escapes my memory. Upon meeting Sue I noticed she seemed the straightforward type of woman who was scared of nothing. If I were lost in the wilderness with Sue, I would survive for sure. She was from ‘around here’ which was a tiny town in NSW. Equally colourful as the volume with which she spoke, which was loud, were the words she chose to use. I loved her visit because I knew I would know anything she felt I needed to know in her presence. This was very comforting for someone such as myself who tends to over think ambiguous comments.
Sue reported glowing remarks over mum’s teacups, tablecloth, homemade fruitcake, and most of all the artwork which mum gladly accepted, colourful language included. Now, I do swear, don’t get me wrong, I swear when I stub my toe, lose my keys down a drain and at the nitwits on the road but I usually refrain while raving over someone’s painting, but Sue made it sound like it was the highest compliment we could ever receive from her so mum was beaming with delight.
Sue became particularly ‘affectionate’ towards one painting in the hallway and before either Sue or myself knew it, my mother had the painting off the wall and in Sue’s hands with the words ‘it’s yours, you have brought me so much pleasure, I want you to have it’. After a stunned protest Sue fell silent and teary. So we went back to eating cake and drinking tea but Sue, although she found her voice again, somehow spoke softer with a vocabulary fit for church.
Now I don’t care if she swore or not honestly, I only mention this story to demonstrate that if a gift manages to shock a person out of their ‘norm’ then it’s a gift well received and long cherished. It makes me realize that we are not beyond this life’s little pleasure; the gift of giving something we made. There is so much talent displayed just on blogs it blows my mind. I think of all the lucky people out there who are receiving these heart made gifts. Lucky ducks.
As for mum, I know she gave away a loooot of paintings, most in similar circumstances and she would be the first to tell you she became richer for it.
I have a couple of handmade gifts from my sisters that I would like to share, if only to scream that I too am a lucky duck. Louise is a watercolorist. She turned her painting into a gift lope for me which has some goodies inside and Rowena is the potter who makes my favourite doily impressed bowls, plates and spoons.