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.
Here’s the bouquet of silk tulips: