“Gifts are like time travel,” I think to myself as I purchase tickets for a spring game to give our nine year old for his January birthday. “Gifts are like time travel,” I remind myself as I pick out the right photo of my dad to adorn my niece’s Christmas ornament. “Gifts are like time travel,” as I pause with understanding.
Sometimes you give a physical gift that allows you to get excited about the future or honor the past. Sometimes your time is a gift. Like when my older brother and I cleaned out my dad’s office a few weeks ago. It was emotional, exhausting. Bonding and memorable. It was a backwards gift, as we appreciated over and over again that he did not do this while he was sick. He was not meant to spend his final days doing that. Our efforts now gave him a gift then. This vision of gifts keeps moving me forward and backward, backward and forward. I can get excited about the Packers Charity Softball game in May. I can cherish the memories our family made instead of decluttering. I can stretch the moments in front of me because just as my dad wasn’t meant to spend his final days cleaning, we’re not meant to spend our days always doing the hardest version of life. We’ve been given the gift of time in all of its tenses. To be here now, to reflect, and to anticipate. To embrace those with us. To miss those not. To imagine who could be, in ourselves and in creation.
This year, we gave our trees the gift of time for Christmas. They needed to rest, and in some strange and grounded way, we can actually feel them resting. Our selling season was short and modified. It was another gift of time, as those we shared the farm with we truly shared our time with.
We look forward to the hustle and bustle of future years. We appreciate the activity of our first two years. And we find wonder and awe in the quiet moments before us.