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A close-up of a newly opened delphinium flower (Summer 2013).

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Is a Joy

The act of giving is life-nurturing. It doesn’t matter whom, what or when. What is important is that you give. Giving could be accomplished in many forms: giving a book to a wonderful friend, giving time to someone who needs you to listen and understand, or sharing one’s talents and resources to others who would benefit from them.
Giving allows you to feel a certain sense of abundance in your life. It gives you moments to cherish when you make the movement from your self to others that says, “I Care”. This movement is as natural as the sun giving its rays to everything on Earth.
My experience in giving consists of giving gifts to families and friends. My heart is filled with joy every time a simple gift is appreciated. Even though I am located halfway around the world, my sons and their families, as well as my friends, feel my presence in those gifts.
A somewhat unique kind of giving I have experienced here in Calgary is to help the creatures in our backyard survive, especially during the cold, winter months. The water, bird seeds, and peanuts are always appreciated by dozens of birds (sparrows, mostly) and some squirrels. My heart quivers with joy just by looking at these creatures eating and feeding themselves. I feel close to them. They are part of my everyday world.
Perhaps my experience of these creatures and how they need human support especially during cold winter months has led me to design my dissertation around connectedness. For me, there is no separation between humans and the world. Everything is interconnected. We are not only connected as human beings, we are also connected to our environment and to the larger cosmos. In this paradigm, there is no space for cruelty, violence and indifference. There is only space for love and care.
And so every morning this winter, and without fail, I go out and place bird seeds and sunflowers in the feeding area in our backyard. My husband, Deane, has been a big help, too, now that winter is here. He has taken the responsibility of placing bird seeds in two bird feeders in the backyard every evening, also without fail. 
I may have to change their water every two hours if the temperature is wickedly frigid. Sometimes, I feel my hands burn in the winter chill. I have been doing this for 10 years. Why? Perhaps I feel good in seeing the birds and squirrels eating happily. Or maybe there is something in me and about me that wants to care. What I know definitely is I experience joy in giving and it makes me appreciate life better.

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