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Gifts of Nature from my Daughters

By September 10, 2007Living, The Long Road

There is a leaf in my book bag. I found it when I was standing in front of my class of first-year students, taking out my computer and books, preparing to teach. It brought me up short, made me stop for a moment to consider its singular beauty. On any fall day I would have walked over or stepped upon this leaf, not noticing it for the many others of its kind, and the hectic concerns of the day that press themselves upon me. But there it was, beautiful, brown and orange, veins running from the stem to the outermost edges. A wonder really, more wonderful still in how it found its way to my bag.
You see, I have been finding little gifts of nature in my pockets, on my desk, even in my shoes. It may be a stone, a shell, even a singular piece of mulch. What they all have in common is that Hannah or Chloe found it interesting and, thinking of their father, decided it was a perfect gift for me. Much could be said about the significance of such gifts, of how they signal the wonder of nature, or call attention to the singular existence of even the seemingly most insignificant things, but for me, it is enough to know that they were given to me by one of my little girls thinking of her Dad. There is no greater gift.

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