| March 28, 2016

Each moment is a gift.

Sometimes it’s a broad-daylight, tromping-through-the-woods, birds-singing, dog-cavorting, husband’s-hand-in-mine sort of gift.

Other times the moment doesn’t look like a gift at all. Sometimes it’s the ache of watching a friend suffer. Sometimes it’s an unexpected death or a life-changing diagnosis.

Lately I’m learning that these moments are the most important gifts: they might as well be wrapped up in boxes and paper and bows.

When I’m angry, I’m ripping the paper off the box to get to the gift. When I’m sorrowful, I’m cutting the tape and easing off the ribbon, careful to preserve even the wrappings.

One thing I know: when I don’t see how something could possibly be a gift, that’s when it’s time to pay my best attention. Don’t push the moment aside and move on. Take the time to rip off some wrapping, even the tiniest corner.

After all, sometimes gifts arrive precious and bare – sun and birdsong, dog and husband – but I am weary or hungry or aching with angst, and if I recognize the gift, all I can do is lament my inability to receive it.

But perhaps that lamentation is itself the gift. Anger and hunger, weariness and sorrow. Utter consternation. Yes, please. I’ll take whatever gift I’m given.

Category: beauty, journey, remaining calm

About the Author ()

Hannah Lynn Mell grew up a missionary kid in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Now she lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts with her exquisitely kind husband David, their plucky three-legged cat Thomas, and a needy-yet-lovable dachshund named Birdie. She's worked with singers since 1998 and loves to help people of all ages free their voices. She's currently earning a Master of Social Work degree with the hope of using creative, expressive modalities in clinical settings.

Comments (3)

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  1. Nancy H says:

    I have been thinking about lament too…hadn’t seen it as a gift until you suggested the idea. If gifts = opportunities for growth, for connection with others – then yes, with tears and nausea sometimes, I receive lament as gift, and I’ll pray it out, and listen. Pruned trees look/are severed, but those same trees tell me there’s growth ahead. I love you.

  2. Nice as always Hannah. Super cute pup too!