Letters from Midgard
That Special Gift
The men at Loading Dock, and even the woman working there, were not cold to her. They brought out the box, asked where her truck was, asked if they could assemble the mirror for her, offered to do anything at all for her. It was sweet, if typical. She asked them to move the box out of the way, around the corner outside the dock, so it wouldn't trouble them while she waited for her truck. Then she had to work at getting them all to go away. Of course, there was no truck. Once they had left, she sized up the box, remembering what must be inside it. She put it into her purse.
The day had not been a total loss, but she still had no present for her brother. And it was getting late. Time to go home. So she went out to the front of Shopping Mall and sat on a bench to wait for her ride.
The sky was a mixture: sunshine on one side, with a few clouds drifting in from the other side. The clouds appeared to have a little bit of rain in them. She compared the angles and the light. Sun here, sprinkles there. She knew her ride would be along any minute now.
As she waited, she looked down at the concrete walkway. There was a crack in it, not by design. She could see there was a stain over the crack, where someone had sprayed something awful to keep things from sprouting there. Still, at one end, and close to her, a bit of green grass grew. It was that singular brilliant green of new grass, bursting forth into the world. Life would not be stopped. It would not even be contained.
She thought about her brother. She thought about the grass. Here was what she wanted to get as a gift for him. It was so like him!
She couldn't just pull the grass up and give it to him. That would spoil it. She needed to give him the whole expanse of concrete with its little green tuft for this gift to be seen for what it was.
But alas, she couldn't figure out how to put it into her purse.
Steven Thor Abell is a storyteller and the author of Days in Midgard: A Thousand Years On, a collection of original modern stories based on Heathen myths. As of 2013, he is also Steersman of the High Rede of The Troth.
Abell's column, "Letters from Midgard," is published on occasional Thursdays on the Pagan channel. Subscribe via email or RSS.