The Gift

The Gift

From A 3rd Serving of Chicken Soup for the Soul

The Gift

It was a warm summer day when the gods placed it in her hands. She trembled with emotion as she saw how fragile it appeared. This was a very special gift the gods were entrusting to her. A gift that would one day belong to the world. Until then, they instructed her, she was to be its guardian and protector. The woman said she understood and reverently took it home, determined to live up to the faith the gods had placed in her.

At first she barely let it out of her sight, protecting it from anything she perceived to be harmful to its well-being; watching with fear in her heart when it was exposed to the environment outside of the sheltered cocoon she had formed around it. But the woman began to realize that she could not shelter it forever. It needed to learn to survive the harsh elements in order to grow strong. So with gentle care she gave it more space to grow, enough to allow it to expand into its own unique shape but not so much for it to grow wild and untamed.

Sometimes she would lie in bed at night, feelings of inadequacy overwhelming her. She wondered if she was capable of handling the awesome responsibility placed on her. Then she would hear the quiet whispers of the gods reassuring her that they knew she was doing her best. And she would fall asleep feeling comforted.

The woman grew more at ease with her responsibility as the years passed. The gift had enriched her life in so many ways by its very presence that she could no longer remember what her life had been like before receiving it, nor imagine what life would be like without it. She had all but forgotten her agreement with the gods.

One day she became aware of how much the gift had changed. It no longer had a look of vulnerability about it. Now it seemed to glow with strength and steadiness, almost as if it were developing a power within. Month after month she watched as it became stronger and more powerful, and the woman remembered her promise. She knew deep within her heart that her time with the gift was nearing an end.

The inevitable day arrived when the gods came to take the gift and present it to the world. The woman felt a deep sadness, for she would miss its constant presence in her life. With heartfelt gratitude, she thanked the gods for allowing her the privilege of watching over the precious gift for so many years. Straightening her shoulders, she stood proud, knowing that it was, indeed, a very special gift. One that would add to the beauty and essence of the world around it. And the mother let her child go.

Renee R. Vroman

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