Holiday Gifts of ‘Words’

Longwood Garden-woman on x-mas tree-resized

Although our culture puts a great deal of emphasis on gift giving for the holidays, some of the most treasured gifts that I’ve received¬†over the years¬†have been ‘words’¬†given by friends or family. The gifts have been¬†poems, phrases or sayings, some personally authored. As you might guess,¬†often the words¬†refer to¬†nature: but not always.

Frequently, holiday gifts I’ve received¬†have been¬†forgotten after a season or two.¬†For¬†several years though, I’ve¬†kept¬†the ‘word’ gifts stowed away¬†in a¬† box¬†in my closet.¬†¬†Every so often, I treat myself and read some of them.¬†After doing so, when I return to my¬†everyday activities, I feel more grounded, happier and at peace. These words¬†are treasures that I will have for¬†a lifetime.¬†What better gifts could I ask for ?

I thought during this holiday season that it would be special if we shared some of our favorite words with each other. They can be anything: a quote, a phrase, a poem or your own thoughts.  Who knows? Perhaps your words will end up as a gift given to someone thousands of miles away.

Here are the words I’ve chosen.

¬†“A Singing Cleaning Woman” by Hafiz

     Hosta_Dryopteris_erythrosora_Astilbe_chinensis_pumila_midJune_2005[1]

A leaf says,

“Sweethearts —–don’t pick me,
For I am busy doing
God’s work.

I am lowering my veins and roots
Like ropes

With buckets tied to them
Into the earth’s deep
Lake.

I am drawing water
That I offer like a rose to
The sky.

I am a singing cleaning woman
Dusting all the shelves in
The air

With my elegant green
Rags.

I have a heart.
I can know happiness like
You.”

About Fran Sorin

Fran’s book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, now considered a classic, was groundbreaking when published as no one had written about gardening in the context of creativity, spirituality, and transformation.

In addition to being a recognized garden expert and deep ecologist, Fran is a broadcaster, journalist, Ordained Interfaith Minister, and Soul Tender.

Google+ | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

If you enjoyed this article, get email updates (it's free).


, , , ,

3 Responses to Holiday Gifts of ‘Words’

  1. Carol December 12, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    How lovely! The image too is quite beautiful and unusual. I love Hafiz! … love “dusting all the shelves in the air” great metaphor … not sure when he wrote this but he was ahead of the times in more ways than his brilliant poetry. Thank you! I will have to look through my box of word gifts! Carol

    Carol-
    Thanks for your ‘words’. Yep, Hafiz was incredible…and what a terrific sense of humour he had! Have a wonderful holiday season. Fran

  2. Christine B. December 12, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    Love the picture of the botanical woman! Giving words is a great idea: I recently sent a friend a birthday card with a silly little poem I wrote and she said it meant a lot to her though it only took me a few minutes to come up with it. Thanks for sharing your words pick with us.

    Christine in Alaska

    Christine-
    See? What you thought was your ‘silly little poem’ had meaning for your friend. Isn’t that wonderful! Fran

  3. joco December 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm #

    Dear Fran,

    You are so right: Often words are a greater gift than something one can touch. It is also a gift that can extend beyond life: I remember people in a phrase that they used or a joke that they made or a compliment they paid me. I am glad you reminded us of their lasting power.

    Dear Joco,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. You are right on target! Have a wonderful holiday season. Fran