“We all have more courage, more worth, and more strength than we realize.”
Loung Ung, Daring to be Ourselves
“Awaken the victor in yourself, arouse the sleeping hero in yourself,
and lo! no sorrow will ever again overwhelm you.”
Paramahansa Yogananda, Inner Reflections
Today, when I came home from a workshop, there were two packages awaiting me — what a welcome surprise! The gifts inside: Inner Reflections, an engagement calendar filled with beautiful spiritual thoughts from Paramahansa Yogananda from my two dear friends, Me-li and Julie, and a wonderful book of women’s quotes called Daring to be Ourselves signed by the author, Marianne Schnall. This book arrived as a complete surprise from another dear friend, C.J., who knew that it was perfect for me.
How blessed I felt as I opened these two thoughtful gifts filled with words of wisdom and hope! It made me think of so many other books I’ve received as gifts over the years and how much they meant to me: books from my father when I was at camp; books from my mom to inspire and guide me; a beautiful copy of The Fairie Queene and a rare copy of The Narrative of Sojourner Truth from my husband, David; gorgeous cookbooks from my wonderful friend, Linda. Each one different and each special in its own way.
Many of the volumes I treasure were gifts for special events, holidays or birthdays. But it’s those books that arrive when least expected — out of the blue on a Saturday in the heart of winter — that remind me how magical the universe can be: How it can deliver right to your door exactly what you need exactly when you need it. Miraculous! Have you ever sent or received a surprise book? Isn’t it a great feeling, both the giving and the receiving?