First to Give

Friday, November 09, 2007

Giving. I often think about the real meaning of this word. What does it mean to give? I’m reminded of the book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. This was one of my all time favorite books growing up as a kid and still is to this day. I brought this book with me to Ramana’s Garden, where it soon became an all-time favorite, read hundreds upon hundreds of times.

If we’re fortunate enough, we have people in our own lives who are just like that big old apple tree who, in the end of the book, gives his life to the little boy so that he may have all that he desires. I am reminded of my cousin Margaret. Almost a year ago, a few of my cousins, my family and I were all sitting around the kitchen table after dinner at my Aunt Pat’s house when Margaret asked me about India. I told everyone my new dream, and what I hoped to do. I’ll never forget it, Margaret stood up immediately, emptied her pockets into my hands and said, “Here, take this for the new home.” I screamed out in excitement, “My first donation!” Margaret’s eyes lit. “I’m the first? Alright!!!”

Months have passed and people have continued to give and give and give; their time, their advice, their contributions, and encouragement. But I’ll never ever forget that day, that first give almost one year ago. It was a good omen and very fitting that Margaret, who would give the shirt off her own back, should have this distinction, so fitting with the energy she has in her heart. She has an innate sense when to listen, when to speak and when to give. She’s my giving tree.


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