The Letter Opener
I walked into work on Monday morning and sat at my desk. Initially I was supposed to meet a friend for a hike though began feeling work remorse because I spent so little time here over the weekend. As a retailer my presence is often required during the weekends. During this time of year, however, we are less busy and I try and steel a bit more personal time. It is December and because holiday gifting and spending is in full force, wedding gown shopping, for most, gets put on hold. I am glad that I am at my desk instead of on the trail right now (this is rare, but I’ll take it) because it is full of stuff that I am enthusiastic about tending to. I begin to open the mail and a quiet energy prompts me to reach for my mother’s letter opener. Every time I use it, it is a blessing. My mother was also my business partner, until last February when she passed away. Though I am beginning to believe that she still is and always will be my partner, now in even bigger ways than before. For instance, I have her full support now. She has my back 100% without cynicism about how I am running things. There is always that voice that says “it’s okay, you’re doing a good job.” Not “why aren’t you using a letter opener?” I never used a letter opener as a rule before. I chose to use my finger and finger nails and deal with the paper cuts that often go hand in hand with my bull-headed practice. The lesson that my mom gave to us, my children and me, just before her last birthday has enlightened me. She was opening the mail that I brought her from work still actively participating in business operations even though it had been a year since she came to the physical work place to do so. “I love a good letter opener…” she began. And then she proceeded to elaborate for the next :30 minutes or so and sell us on her ritual of envelope opening. I get my skepticism from her, but hey on this particular day I embraced her enthusiasm and found joy in the lesson which might, in another stretch of time have been uninteresting to me. That and, it made my decision about what to buy her for her upcoming birthday very easy. There are old practices that are worth being learned. The wise and experienced always have something to offer that, unwilling to budge from our structured routines might prevent us from absorbing. The simplicity of the letter opener entertained me in a way that I may have missed years before, placing a habitual (immature?) judgement against the lesson. On that particular day, whether I released the tightening of my noose because my mom had been suffering from her illness for so long or just because I had arrived at a place in my acceptance and gratitude that was exactly where it was meant to be for that moment in time, I was in a place of receiving. The gift of that moment has carried me to this moment, as I open the mail, paper cut free, with a smile, a knowing and my mothers letter opener. Gratefully, because of my presence at the time of her letter opener presentation, I get to feel the presence of my mom and one more gift that she has offered every day that the US post delivers the mail.