(Warning!  This is a serious ramble.  All of you who might be afraid of sappy sweet stuff, hit the button that says "up" to escape!  You have been warned....)

August 2, 2001...

I was talking with a friend of mine about her new romantic relationship.  She was happy with what she was finding out about her new friend, but was having some trepidation about what else she might find out about him.  What if he might hurt her someday?  What if she found something that would “kill” their blossoming attraction?  What if she became bored with her new friend and had to end the relationship with him?

I told her that I felt that new relationships were kind of like opening a present within a present within a present, etc.  A little like a Russian nesting doll.  Each layer that you unwrap is a surprise of sorts – interesting, little mysteries which are unveiled and exposed for your enjoyment.  Sometimes, you’ll run across a gag gift, but when a relationship is working, the layers just get better and better.  People have many layers, like an onion.  This is an old analogy, but it’s true that some folks have more layers than others.  In my book, these are the people who make the greatest gifts of their friendships and relationships.  There is continual growth within the person so that the layers seem never ending.  How refreshing it is to find this kind of person!  Even if a person doesn’t have many layers, however, whatever gifts you have opened from them are STILL gifts.  Everyone has something interesting to offer. 

Sometimes, you’ll get to the end (so you THINK!) of the present within a present within a present and might discover the heart shaped crystal that is Love.  What people choose to do with this gift is their own choice, of course.  Some polish it well and hang it proudly in the window so that it throws rainbows all over the world.  Others leave it on the windowsill, where it becomes dusty through neglect and doesn’t shine.  Still others will only see the chips in the crystal from when the heart fell to the floor.  They have trouble seeing the other, Lovely facets in the crystal, retreat out of fear of falling again and hide their heart away.  The best, however, are the fortunate ones which have been through it all, might be chipped a little, yet are still polished and hang in the window, emitting their colorful hues.  The Love doesn’t grow old with time although the bearer of that gift might age.  It is a testament to the human heart to see an elderly couple still holding hands and shining like the sun.

So, to my friend I say this: “Take your time.  Enjoy each present as you unveil it and take it for what it is – a gift.  Try not to expect what you’d like the next gift to be, but be open to surprises and have faith that there is more to this package than you, as yet, know.  And, if you run across a crystal heart, don’t hide it away from past pain, but explore what colors it might introduce into your life and into the life of your partner.  A gift is just that – a gift – It should never be taken for granted.  And, remember this:  A gift accepted is a gift, in turn, given.”

:~)  April Kelly
Copyright, 2001