by Sarah Albrecht
Our four-slice toaster died and my twelve-year-old son begged me to give it to him so he could take it apart. Envisioning crumbs, screws, and gizmos scattered throughout the house, I almost said no. But I handed it over to him anyway. He spent an afternoon taking it apart, putting it back together, and studying every component to figure out how it worked. Then with rubber bands he souped up the springs that pop the toast to see how far he could blast pencils and other objects.
Oddly, the toaster got me thinking about my grandma’s raspberries. Every summer when we visited her in northern Utah, she set a bowl of fresh raspberries from her garden at each of our places. It was part of summer, for me an expectation without a realization of the knowledge and effort it took for her to grow them. As an adult who cringes at the price of grocery store raspberries and with some understanding of the trickiness of growing them, I see more clearly the nature of her simple gift.
That was the relationship between the toaster and the raspberries: simple gifts, borne of understanding or knowledge or skill…and love.
Writing can be a simple gift. My journal is a future gift to my family. Your insightful blogs are gifts to me. Voices of truth and beauty through poetry, songs and lengthier works can be gifts to whoever reads them.
I’m looking more to recognize and trying harder to give simple gifts, seeing them like the tender mercies of the Lord.