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The Nature of Generosity and Encounter

“I closed my mouth and spoke to you in a hundred silent ways.” -Rumi

Last week was busy. I was on The Faith Talk Show talking witchcraft and tarot, then two days later I was at A Beautiful Soul giving 20 minute tarot readings from 10AM to 6PM. And it was a good day as far as it goes, though long as well. I helped the right number of people so that my attention and standards weren’t compromised. As an introvert these events can be difficult when the demand is too high. Encountering people is one of the best benefits of the work that I do, and feeling rushed is the antithesis to encounter, so I was grateful for the way it worked out. Still, after a 9 hour event my mind was fogged for the next two days.

Tonight I’m wrapping presents. I came to one I had been rolling around in my head for a while, unsure if I would give it to the person or not. It says just as much about me as it does this other person, but I’m not sure they would recognize that. I’m not sure they have ever recognized that in any of my gestures for them. I don’t know if I will be met with the half-hearted “thanks” or if there will be some indication of understanding. That’s always the bargain though, isn’t it? When you put real thought into something, or you give your full attention and presence, you still have no control over how or if someone else will receive what you’re giving. This is the vulnerability inherent to generosity.

We have this whole world before us- a constant giver of blessings, and we often treat it with the same disregard, though it continues to give. That’s the nature of generosity. It doesn’t depend on the reception, though the right reception can make it all the sweeter. All it really takes is a genuine encounter for generosity and gratitude to combine and amplify each other. To notice the world and enjoy it is the gift we give back.

We talk all day about the “important” things but so much of it is wheels spinning. There is more to learn by sharing space on the porch with a squirrel while he eats his lunch of walnuts. The walnut tree gives me infertile ground for many plants, while also giving a source of food. I could curse it or bless it depending on how I receive its presence- depending on how I encounter it.

Anyway, I decided to give the gift.

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