Madeline’s Kindergarten teacher has always shared with me memories and things that Madeline loved. She remembers what a different child she was, her energy and peace. She bought the girls and I a book after Maddie passed, one that Madeline really loved. She told me most of the kids in class didn’t really connect to it, or get it but Madeline did. I love when she shares books and memories, we carve time out to go home and read it together and talk about Madeline. This book was pretty simple looking and one I had never read. “The Gift of Nothing”… a story about two friends and finding a perfect gift to show love to a friend. It is an amazing and powerful story about the importance of nothing.
This holiday season has been a whirlwind, the month went by faster than planned (when doesn’t it??). I had several ‘Best Day Evers’ to plan and deliver. We had the normal Musto Chick stuff – band concerts, Christmas tree decorating, playdates, holiday activities… then a nice pile of Strep throat to really top it off. We watched about 100 Christmas movies and barely left the couch or house Strep weekend… and all.of.the.sudden it is Christmas Eve and all the work is done and Christmas is here.
I always see that in this whirlwind of Christmas and holidays and family and food and traditions, we lose sight of the importance of ‘nothing’. The great fact that ‘nothing’ is really ‘everything’.
I think back to the book that Mrs. Pace gifted us and how she recalled Madeline understanding the gift of nothing, truly being the gift of everything. This week my girls headed to their fathers to enjoy a holiday with their other family. I rearranged it a little so I could have 2 nights in a row off to set off on an adventure. In this world, where I have all that I need and so much of what I love… at least all that money can buy- I need nothing. Instead of something, Rick and I decided to gift each other ‘nothing’… kind of. It would be cold to disappear to Lake Placid with ‘nothing’… so we did gift each other a nice room… but honestly the best gift was the ‘nothing’. We wandered, we relaxed and we enjoyed a whole buncha ‘nothing’ with a most specular view and the most peaceful perfect place. We did nothing; in essence it was everything. We don’t need anything, I got new tires this month and am reminded of how comfortable my life is every.single.time I turn a corner or stop and my Jeep listens and does its job.
We walked around yesterday and I told Rick about this book, about the profound truth that ‘nothing’ is pretty amazing. I even made him listen to a Youtube reading of it. I felt yesterday the words for this week, in my life, ‘the gift of nothing’. The best gifts in my life fill my life with everything, at a cost of nothing. I don’t compare my everything and nothing to yours, I hope that you value and see your own everything and nothing.
Having a people to travel this grand adventure with… my girls, my family, my Rick, my friends, my Madeline… is worth all the everything one could ever buy. I appreciate my everything, my nothing. Wandering and relaxing is a gift in this crazy, distracting, full and busy life. Our gift of time, of ‘nothing’, is the best gift I could have asked for. I kept thinking as we wandered how that book really described those days away together.
Those moments of reflection and reminders are gifts from my Lovely, I know it. She was poking me yesterday while I sat on a cold bench taking in Mirror Lake. She flashed that book to me, to remind me that I have everything in my pile of nothing. I can’t wait to enjoy my girls and celebrate Jesus’s Birthday. Simple and warm and slow… just the way we love.
I hope you reflect on your everything, your nothing and your gifts… the ones that matter. The gifts you can’t buy… not the sneakers, the game systems, Hatchimals… enjoy the good stuff. Life isn’t a competition, it is an experience… and it can be so much shorter than you mean it to be. Look around… enjoy your ‘gifts of nothing’- I promise you they truly are Everything…