(Blessing tree painted by Jennifer Orkin lewis for Peter Pauper Press.)
(continued from window four…)
IT was a Blessing Tree! Instead of traditional gifts or decorations, it held reminders of blessings: homes and hearts, animals and nature—even a peace dove! It had ornaments with hand-lettered names!
As she walked closer, the woman noticed that these were names she knew! “Why, I know everyone on this tree,” she whispered, realizing that for her, each person was MOST CERTAINLY A BLESSING…
Just then, the red bird spoke! I have to say that the speech was not exactly words, and it’s hard to explain, but the woman understood: “Just as these ornaments represent your blessings, the stars on each ornament represent blessings for someone else.” The message was clear, and the woman (neither too old nor too young) gathered the all the ornaments with stars into her basket, hardly knowing where she would put the greenery now. There was no more room! What a gift to have so many people she loved—their ornaments right there on the Blessing Tree!
“How should I send these to each person in time for the holidays?” No answer from the red bird who flew away—she imagined—to catch the Snowperson that had totally disappeared!
The woman retraced her steps, but no birds, no Snowpersons, no bears, no gifts, no candy canes, no jaunty red hats.
So the woman began to walk quickly because, of course, no one wants to be in the deepest woods as dusk descends and the snow begins to fall again, first gold and then white. She had walked only minutes when she found, waiting in her path, the sack of greenery, holly and berries, full to overflowing. The Snowperson had carried this very sack! She knew instantly that now it was meant for her.
She lifted a low branch and sidled under it, sack of greenery in one hand, a basket of ornaments from the Blessing Tree in the other. The dusk was sliding down around, and the woman had a half mile to go!
She tucked the ornaments deep into the basket and hurried away, recalling to herself all she had seen and heard.
“Miracles abound,” she said, smiling at the thought of special trips to the post office to send star blessings far and wide to all the people and places that blessed her life!
And if a package should come to you with star blessings, place it on your tree and know it comes with love, magic, and miracles for the new year…and forever after that, as well.