Gift from a Stranger

An unexpected package from a friend  marks a red letter day. That padded envelope or box from Amazon, just because your buddy has seen a book he thought you’d like to read, or music she knows you’ll love, or food from his kitchen or her trip to Greece — well! It’s only slightly  less wondrous than  a new baby or a loved one’s  recovery from a grave  illness.

Let’s push up the wonder factor: the gift comes from someone you’ve never met, or spoken to.

That person lives in Japan.

The gift is intricate and beautiful, and she made it by hand. It’s fashioned from scraps of kimono silk. If I’d known that such a lovely thing existed, it would have been at the top of my Christmas list. I marvel every time I look at it, which is daily, and think “That lovely woman spent a long time making this, and she gave it to me!

The lovely woman who sent me this gift via my daughter is what my grandmother would call a “connection” — a friend or family member of someone in your own family who isn’t related to you. She’s the mother of my son-in-law’s sister-in law Kei. (Got it?)She’s the daughter of a post-war Japanese Prime Minister.She  took a shine to my daughter when Honor and John were visiting a friend in Japan — they stayed with her in Tokyo and she  introduced them to Kyoto and its high refined cuisine.When they left she gave Honor “a present for your mother.”

I don’t even know what she looks like, but I can show you her daughter and granddaughter Hana.

Kei’s in black and white in the front row  — Hana’s in flower girl attire at her aunt and uncle’s wedding. (Kei had a baby sister for Hana last week, Juna Michael.)

Here’s the bouquet of  silk tulips:

She painstakingly sewed them, stuffed them, wired them to the silk stems and leaves, and sent them to the United States as a gift to a stranger. Here’s some detail:

To send a handmade gift, or one lovingly chosen, to a friend : that’s love. To send one to a stranger: that’s class.



Filed under Art, Cool Japanese Stuff, Home, How Cool is That?, Needlework, Travel

5 responses to “Gift from a Stranger

  1. Kim McKellar

    That’s lovely!

  2. kim shook

    That is so touching, Maggie. I love that she followed the impulse of kindness. I think that we all have them, but things get in the way of them being carried out. Bless her for not letting anything get in the way for her expression. Glad that you had a ‘happy’ today!

  3. How very lovely—the flowers and the gesture. We just go along and go along, and then there arrives a gift in the mail, from someone you’ve never met. It’s quite a wonderful feeling, this lagniappe of life, when a stranger known only by words is clasped close in such a dear moment.

    And the remembrance is a forever memory, the person a forever friend.

  4. Gretchen


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