A Gift

“Yesterday was a gift.”
The gentleman on the elevator was dressed in a heavy jacket, a beret on his head and a cup of takeaway coffee in his hand. I’d asked when I got in if it was cold outside, since I’d spent the morning in the hotel having breakfast with a friend, and he said it was not too bad. I replied (the elevators are not speedy) that I was grateful that the weather was better this week than it had been the week before, which was when he agreed, saying, “Yesterday was a gift.”
The words reverberated in me, and not just because yesterday’s unexpected sun made one want to stand on a street corner and open one’s face to the warmth. I had lunch in a nearby park with SJ Rozan, sitting in a café that was almost too warm, watching a hundred and more people skate in the ice rink set up there—tiny children, old bearded men, a young nun in full habit, all color of skin and clothing, rotating around and around the artificial pond while the two of us talked books and writing and life: a gift.
And last night, dinner with my friend Les Klinger at the China Grill on 53rd Street, an unrelentingly hip Chinese/fusion place with hard-edged music and sculptured food, the sort of place you go for the fun of it and are pleasantly surprised to have interesting food, but not so noisy you can’t talk family and books and the mystery world and a writing project. A gift.
The entire weekend has been a gift, from Thursday’s easy flight to the interesting lecture at the end of it, to productive meetings with editors and publicists I adore, to a raucous luncheon, to Friday’s dinner in which I was given the singular honor of being welcomed as one of only 300 Baker Street Irregulars in the world.
No doubt having said this I have now laid a curse on the remainder of the trip and my flight will be delayed and wind will toss it around and I’ll get drenched waiting for the jitney and my car won’t start when I retrieve it, but up to now, the trip has been a gift.
So here is my heartfelt thanks, to New York and all the people in it.

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  1. Strawberry Curls on January 17, 2010 at 10:12 am

    This is a great reminder to us all of the tiny gifts we are daily given and how we become so busy we overlook, ignore and miss the joy we might have from the simplest thing. Thank you, Laurie, for sharing this weekend with us. It is always a pleasure to know someone who deserves good things has received them, even if just for a weekend. Your readers have been given the gift of your words, it is nice to know you are receiving gifts also.


  2. jtb1951 on January 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I echo Alice’s thoughts and add that, indeed, every day we have is a gift, and we are allotted only so many. It may be harder some days than others to appreciate the gift of the day, but there is always something if we look with open eyes!


  3. Kerry on January 18, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    Yep – what they said. I don’t do nearly as good a job of remembering this as I ought. Thanks for the reminder, and I hope your trip back went smoothly (and that your house hasn’t washed away in any mudslides).

  4. Melody Kitchens on January 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Todays rainy cold dreary day has been my gift. Instead of housework and the many errands that have to be done I was given the gift of this day to read and any time that I can do that it is a gift that I appreciate above all others.


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