Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bearing Gifts From Afar

The Nativity in our village church.  My blanket is folded up neatly in the corner.  I guess Baby Jesus got too hot.

Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  And today?  Today is a gift.  That's why we call it the present.  ~Babatunde Olatunji, also attributed to Alice Morse Earle

Day 116

Good Morning!  I know it’s another “Act Like I’m Not A Drunk Saturday” but I’ve decided to do a regular blog today because I’ve been kind of busy/lazy this week and haven’t written much, plus I can’t think of anything to write that is worthy of ALINADS (Act Like I’m Not A Drunk Saturday) status, plus it’s my blog and I can do anything I want with it.  So there.

So now in a more charitable timbre, yesterday was el Dia de las Reyes Mago,  or Three Kings Day down here which celebrates the day that the three kings arrived bearing gifts for the Christ Child.  It is a day of great celebration here in a country that finds a reason almost every day to throw a party.

Anyway…I had my own gift I wanted to give the Christ Child yesterday, it wasn’t frankincense, myrrh, or gold, although I did try to talk the cap’n into throwing a gold coin in the coffers but let’s just say he doesn’t possess the same generous spirit that I do.  My gift was a baby blanket that I had knitted a couple of years ago.  The blanket’s pattern is called the tree of life and it includes bare branched trees on both ends of the blanket and rows of tulips in the middle. More tulips with their twisting stems and leaves border the entire blanket.  It’s an odd theme for a baby blanket with its stark naked trees and spring tulips, but I guess it is supposed to signify the cycles of life and birth.  I do know that it’s the most difficult thing I’ve ever knitted and I learned a lot of new stitches and techniques through trial and error and demonstration (Thank you, internet and KnitWitch youtube videos)while I was completing it.  I did a lot of rip-outs and redo’s and I actually abandoned the whole thing for several months.  When I picked it back up, it almost seemed easier to rip the whole thing out and start over but instead I decided to go back, figure out where I had left off, find my mistakes, correct them and go on.

I didn’t realize until I was writing this how much that little blanket represents my life.  It seems like a worthy gift for a King.

So I went to our little church yesterday morning to present my gift.  I wanted to do it in secret, but there was a senora in the front row.  I decided to wait her out so I let the kneeler down and decided I’d have a little chat while I was waiting.  The kneelers in our simple little church are narrow and they are not padded so for me there is a tendency to keep my reflections short and when I saw the senora stretch out her arms along the back of the pew (she was sitting) and kick off her shoes, I decided I would continue my stealthy (I don’t think that’s a word but, again, this is my blog and I can do what I want)vigil across the square at my favorite taqueria.  After dos tacos I ventured back across the square and into the church.  It was empty.  I carefully picked my way through the assortment of barn animals that include a rearing stallion and a flamingo and gently placed my blanket over our Baby Jesus who is of grande proportions compared to his Mama and Papa (poor Mary) and is sporting eyelashes a young calf would covet and a knitted jumper and ski cap.  It’s been chilly down here.

Now he has my blanket for additional warmth.  As usual I like to attach an inordinate amount of importance to any gift I give and I wonder if years from now, the senoras of the altar guild will lovingly spread the blanket over the Baby Jesus and tell of its mysterious appearance on el Dia de las Reyes Magos many years ago.  Or will my humble little blanket be appropriated (aka stolen) for another poor baby in meager surroundings to be swaddled in.  I hope it’s the "latter"!!!! (If you read this before 11:17 pm CST, it mistakenly said  "former." It must be those last traces of alcohol still floating through my medulla oblangata.  Thanks for pointing it out Lulu, I'd rather have real baby slobbers any day.)

So today I’m just out there doing my best to keep spreading my gifts and watering that tree of life.
P.S. I'm going to a memorial mass for a friend's mother this morning and I'll get a pic of our Baby Jesus and the blanket.  If it's still there.


  1. See...and I sorta hope it's the latter. I think that the real Jesus would much rather see your blanket keeping someone's fragile baby warm than see it displayed in a church.

    I remember years ago when we were in Italy being simultaneously awed and dismayed at how much money went into those cathedrals while the people who lived in the surrounding area lived in poverty.

  2. Okay, so now I'm worried that my comment sounded jerky. I'm sorry. If you hope the blanket stays at the church, I hope it does too. It sounds probably too beautiful to get all slobbered and poo'd on anyway.

    You do spread gifts in my life Kary. I'm glad you're my friend.

  3. We're all my God's kids, and He smiles on kindness. That's the gift you shared.

    I admire the description of your knitting. Took me 20 years to finish my first, and I learned patience, the ability to mend a mistake, and solace in it's creation. Just what my Higher Power was attempting to teach. Perhaps I just wasn't ready to learn yet.

    Glad you're well, and even gladder we're all here to share the journey. I look forward to your sharing every day.

    Be well friend!