Sunday, January 4, 2009

Still Giving


This afternoon as the checker rang up my groceries, I noticed the black rubber bangles she wore on her right wrist. Studded with silver and brass bands, the bracelets were simple and lovely.

I told her I liked them and she told me the story behind them. Made by women in Africa and sold around the world, the money goes to help families affected by AIDS in that country. Then she took off one of the bangles and handed I to me.

Of course my first reaction was to hand it back. “What? No. You don’t have to do that.”

She pushed my hand away. “No, really. If you like it, take one.”

I realize that this is Solvang where we know the grocery store checkers by name. But still. I’ve never had someone take off what they’re wearing and hand it to me just because I said I liked it!

I decided to take the gift from her. If there’s a lesson I’ve learned during this 29 Days of Giving, it’s that whatever you give away will come back to you in one form or another. She was willing to give me the bracelet and even though I haven’t given away any jewelry (yet!) it’s all part of this circle of giving. It’s amazing and beautiful and I’ve been so touched by the simplest encounters.

It’s just a bracelet. But every time I look at it and wear it, it will be a reminder to me of this 29 day journey, of giving, just for the sake of giving.

15 comments:

Corey Schwartz said...

What a lovely story! I actually failed miserably with the 29 Days of Giving. Of course, it was the holidays so I gave TONS of gifts, but it is the totally unexpected ones like in your story that are the most special. I will have to keep that in mind in '09.

Kelly said...

That was too sweet. Good Karma all around! Love the picture!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Beautiful story!

I once bought a pencil holder made by women in Africa. I believe it was done out of the leftover telephone wiring or something. You can even smell the campfire they sat around as it was woven.

PJ Hoover said...

What a great gesture! Kind of a Pay it Forward kind of thing!

Vivian said...

A true act of generosity and inspiration. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Corey, don't look at it as a failure. I think just being aware of opportunities to give and acting on them more often in the most important thing.

Kelly, I fell in love with that picture too!

Sarah, I think I've seen those pencil holders. They are very cool.

PJ, you're right. It was very much a Pay it Forward kind of moment.

Vivian, I agree. And I love that I have a tangible reminder every day.

Suzanne Casamento said...

I love that story too. Makes me want to give something away.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Excellent, Suzanne -- that's the idea :)

Lady Glamis said...

What an awesome story! Think you can take a picture of the bracelet for us to see? I am touched, just reading this post.

We had some amazing experiences with people giving to us this season. Truly, it is hard to receive and give. Both require great practice, I think. :)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Glam, you are so right! Being able to gracefully receive can be just as hard as the giving sometimes!

Patty P said...

Thanks for the story. It reaffirms my belief that people are inherently good and generous beings.
How'd the class go?

Rena said...

What a wonderful story!

I saw your name on Kelly's blog and the "Solvang" got my attention. I spent most of my life in Ojai, not too far from you and visited Solvang many, many times.

Small world! :)

Solvang Sherrie said...

Patty, I think people are basically good, too. And the class was great!

Rena, I've noticed your picture as I cruise the blogosphere -- I love the illustration! And I've spent many weekends in Ojai. My parents still go every spring for the art and music festival :)

taralazar said...

Wow, what a nice story. Thanks for sharing it.

Solvang Sherrie said...

Tara, glad you liked it!

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