If “‘Tis more blessed to give than to receive” is true–and I believe it is–then on Saturday night I was doubly blessed.
It seemed unfair to use the Christmas gift I gave him before he had a chance to even try it out…
But I did.
Up early and gone all day for one child’s wrestling meet, driving to and from the girls’ soccer practice in the late afternoon, I lost daylight time for my run with the dog.
So I strapped on the headlamp I’d given Dave so he could run in the early-morning dark…
and drove myself and Chai to the dog park so I could try it out in the late.
Snow glittered before me. I ran on fairy dust. In the light of the headlamp, the dog’s eyes glowed weirdly–orange from the side, green head-on, and red when she was close. Pleased with her first off-leash run since before Christmas day, Chai sprinted past me. For a moment, as snow fell in front of me, spotlit in the lamp’s circle, I thought the forecaster’s prediction of next-day flurries had come early and sudden. But when it stopped just as quickly and then happened again when Chai did another fly by, I realized she was kicking it up with her paws.
A siren wailed in the distance, and deep in the woods, the coyotes echoed. Ahead of me, Chai paused to listen. Then–they must have been too far away to awaken either concern or longing–she bent her head and chomped up some packed snow, the canine version of shaved ice, flavored with who-knows-what.
The trees’ tops were lost to the night, but in my peripheral vision, their trunks floated like gray stripes on a dark suit. Hit with the direct light of the headlamp, though, they appeared almost white, bleached of color.
I felt no fear, except that my rule-keeping mind expected a policeman any moment to remind me that the dog park closed at dusk, and it was well past.
When Dave got home from cleaning up after the wrestling meet, I told him I tried out his present. “Thank you,” I said.
“How did it work?” he asked.
“Great!” I told him how beautiful the run had been. “It worked wonderfully. You’ll love using it.”
“Well, then, thank you,” he told me.
‘Tis better to give than to receive.
But perhaps giving and receiving, when done wholeheartedly, are more connected than I’d realized.