One Last Simple Gift

The last simple gift from a friend was the importance of telling those you love just that. I guess it doesn’t have to be those three words, but maybe better if it is. Another friend of mine, possessing a wisdom I admire, recently shared an anecdote encapsulating the importance of noticing simple gifts others bring to the world and how that enacts love for others.

Gary Chapman writes about the five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. There’s of course danger in identifying and then pigeon-holing one into one of these same is the danger with something like Myers-Briggs profile (is that still a thing?), but it can be useful to provide a starting point in understanding how one feels love from others and how one expresses love for others beyond actually saying “I love you.”

I have another long-time friend who for a short, intense, period during our formative years was one of a few important friends in my life. I suspect it’s in these friendships in those formative years that we learn how to love those we’re not genetically programmed to love unconditionally. College came and we were off to different parts of the country. She, much more adventurous than I, set off to find her path and we soon lost contact. Remember kids, this was when it cost money we didn’t have to make long-distance phone calls, so letter writing was what we had. That took significant effort to maintain. We’ve made contact again, with occasional phone calls and text messages, but haven’t been in the same room for nearly 30 years. Ever since high school she ended our conversations with “I love you,” or maybe “Love you.” Maybe it was just a version of “see you later” or “take care” but I don’t think so. Maybe it’s a way, through her, for the universe to communicate that it loves you. Whatever the case, it’s nice to hear right? Whether it’s the actual affirming words, time spent together, a simple gift, a caring act, or a wordless hug, it’s the one thing us social Homo sapiens cannot do without no matter how hard we sometimes try.

Sometimes I write a song simply by playing some notes and chords on a guitar and beginning to hum some sounds which eventually morph into words and the universe drops a song into my head revealing what I was thinking and feeling. This is one of those songs.

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