Tenth Kindling – The Gift

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Sometimes, the calendar leaves me hints and clues, getting me ready, having me expect a gift because it’s time. Even when accompanied with a “surprise!” as they hand me fancily wrapped cubes with stylish bows upon them, it isn’t ever really a surprise. I knew, as everyone else knew, that it was simply time.

Sometimes, relationships, achievements, and misguided notions of self-grandeur hand me crude cue cards. I puff out my chest, project my voice to the adoring crowds (whether real or imagined), and I read from them. I read about having a right to these blessings, of deserving them, because that’s what I’ve come to believe. And then almost as soon as I receive them, I haughtily toss them amongst the piles and piles of nameless, discarded things.

Other times, however, I find myself walking down aimlessly – avenues and streets and roads that I’ve walked before. My empty eyes betray the jaded psyche that breathes inside me; and I cross the streets, one after another, without an end destination in mind. And then it happens. I see someone approaching me from around the corner.

It’s you.

You smile a smile so radiant, it restores some of the life within me, the life that I had taken for granted and had let slip through my fingers. You gently prop my arms open, step in, and stare deeply into my eyes.

You catch me off-guard.

You are the gift. I was never expecting.

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