Steeped Cinnamon

You wait

with breath on hold

for the glimmer of the waking sun

to light up your world, a global alarm clock

which will tease open veiled tresses and release your

joy-steeped beauty like a stick of sweet cinnamon in a teacup

of finely hand-painted china, a compound of the world’s richest organic drink.

The Gift

Sometimes life brings an unexpected delight.

Sometimes you are wading through the tough stuff, when joy is handed as a gift on a china platter.  Literally.

I met my dear friend for a day of catching up.  Her presence was like an ointment smoothed on a burn graft.  Her smiles and encouragement were nectar of the gods.  Her prayers and wise words spoke Life and Courage and Spirit and God-Hope into my bones.

And then we arrived at the garden…

A mini-paradise, this – a volunteer labour of love in the midst of concrete and traffic snarls.  Within, hydrangeas, lilies, orchids.

Within, peace.

Wandering in delight, senses stretched to contain the whole.  Colour and beauty and rest in the midst of a rocky road, every bloom invested its soul in crossing the distance to mine, breathing life-breath and lung-fill and heart-stir and hope in every exhale.

And then, the Joy surprise burst out – a tiny lady quietly brought us a tea tray.

“Where would you girls like to sit? ”

There were tiny tables tucked into recesses draped with living green.  We chose the one with the dark mosaic and the orchids blinking lazily in dappled sun.

We sipped.  The moments crawled, a meandering of now and here and present.  Because we knew in a glance – the present is a true gift.

We opened it with care not to disturb the packaging, a reverent awe slowing our fingers from anxious to curious.  We untied rather than clawing its ribbons.  We used fingernails to gently tease the tape.  We were careful not to crumple the lovely wrapping paper.

And presently, when ‘now’ became ‘then’, we were able to release it and let it go.  It was a past that would feed future conversations and rememberings.  A hallowed moment where two shared.  Healed.  Grew.

And together, opened the gift…