Sometimes a gift is unknown, a traveler from another time winding up on the right doorstep. These are treasures that pass from hand to hand until a precise moment connects an object, to the person that it will bring sublime joy.
A beautiful young woman, on the brink of motherhood, hears me exclaim over her childhood tea set.
"Oh! I had a set of these. Well they really weren't mine, an older cousin loaned them to me when she outgrew them. Then when her daughter was born she asked for them back."
Holding the tiny cup, l remember the day the china was returned. Playing tea using lukewarm Lipton is one of the only sweet memories I carry with me from growing up.
I do not share this at that time because in several hours a precious little girl will we born, a child who will be loved in ways that I was not. The young woman, in the midst of a brief respite in her eventual 33 hour labor, watches my old-little girl face light up, as I finger the delicate china.
A few weeks later, we see each other again, the bright fresh baby in a carrier alongside. In her hands my young friend has a gift. She smiles with a knowingly.
"I thought this would be exactly the right thing to say thank you."
Holding the fragile cup I welcome the sweet memory home.