Sometimes the most amazing grace sneaks up and wraps sweet, soothing arms around you in such a fashion as to catch you unaware. Completely unaware!
As a child, I made May baskets for everyone I knew. My teachers, my grandmother, my neighbors, my friends' mothers. I remember mastering the art of the Victorian conical May basket, with candy in the bottom and a rick rack handle. I would stalk through the grass with the stealth of a cat on on a bird and obsessively position my May Basket on the door handle, then poke the doorbell with a fierce stab , jump off the porch and run. Run the like wind, blind to anything but being completely out of sight as the door opened. Sometimes, the door never opened and my basket would hang, bright yellow stalks of forsythia crookedly askew, waiting for my May Victims to come home and find their bounty. I loved May Baskets for sooooo long.
This past Wednesday was another chaotic whirlwind at the office and a last of the day meeting left me both disturbed and heartened. As I drove across town towards home, I was too numb to be aware of much of anything except a headache. Once I hit the sanctity of my own driveway, I barely even remembered being at work. I put the car away and made my routine walk across the porch to the front door to pick up the mail and check for packages and froze as I spied a pink gift bag hanging on my front door. Although May 1 was a tiny detail of the day, instinctively I knew what waiting for me at the end of a very long day and what already was a very long week: a May Basket. A pink and white and green lacy, feathery May Basket. For me! The first of my life.
I was absolutely thrilled and completely mystified. And smitten! There were daisies and carnations so it looked and smelled wonderful. Such attention to detail, this beautiful, wonderful May Basket. I had no idea who sent it. Was it one of the people who were at my house last weekend? Was it my Tuesday night dinner guest? Was it someone from my book club?
No. No. And No. It was my friends from the house next to us. These adorable enchanting creatures who are my new neighbors made me a May Basket and hung it on my door. Didn't find out until today when they came over after soccer to confess. They came in to go out and pay a call on The Chow Nation and have cookies and after a point, told me they had to run really, really, really FAST to get out of sight so quick. It took me back a million years to when I tried and tried to figure out how to get violets to stay nice for my grandma's basket. To rolling that pretty paper in a cone and gluing lace around the top edge. To tucking in a paper doily to cradle the flowers. To dropping the lemon drops in , one by one. I could remember it as if it were last week and our kitchen at 10th and Penn and the thick lawns of the neighborhood and the bright colors of Foster Avenue on May Day all came swirling back to me in a second. How I loved those May Baskets and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho in spring.
That's grace and joy and so as Igantius says, God is all around us. Today I saw His face in my friends who are so kind and treat me and the world with such sweetness and generosity. Amazing, amazing grace.
The 'Kan EWA