Holiday Gifts of ‘Words’

– Posted in: Miscellaneous

Longwood Garden-woman on x-mas tree-resized

Although our culture puts a great deal of emphasis on gift giving for the holidays, some of the most treasured gifts that I’ve received over the years have been ‘words’ given by friends or family. The gifts have been poems, phrases or sayings, some personally authored. As you might guess, often the words refer to nature: but not always.

Frequently, holiday gifts I’ve received have been forgotten after a season or two. For several years though, I’ve kept the ‘word’ gifts stowed away in a  box in my closet.  Every so often, I treat myself and read some of them. After doing so, when I return to my everyday activities, I feel more grounded, happier and at peace. These words are treasures that I will have for a lifetime. What better gifts could I ask for ?

I thought during this holiday season that it would be special if we shared some of our favorite words with each other. They can be anything: a quote, a phrase, a poem or your own thoughts.  Who knows? Perhaps your words will end up as a gift given to someone thousands of miles away.

Here are the words I’ve chosen.

 “A Singing Cleaning Woman” by Hafiz


A leaf says,

“Sweethearts —–don’t pick me,
For I am busy doing
God’s work.

I am lowering my veins and roots
Like ropes

With buckets tied to them
Into the earth’s deep

I am drawing water
That I offer like a rose to
The sky.

I am a singing cleaning woman
Dusting all the shelves in
The air

With my elegant green

I have a heart.
I can know happiness like

Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at

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Fran Sorin
3 Comments… add one

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Carol December 12, 2009, 9:32 am

How lovely! The image too is quite beautiful and unusual. I love Hafiz! … love “dusting all the shelves in the air” great metaphor … not sure when he wrote this but he was ahead of the times in more ways than his brilliant poetry. Thank you! I will have to look through my box of word gifts! Carol

Thanks for your ‘words’. Yep, Hafiz was incredible…and what a terrific sense of humour he had! Have a wonderful holiday season. Fran

Christine B. December 12, 2009, 4:56 pm

Love the picture of the botanical woman! Giving words is a great idea: I recently sent a friend a birthday card with a silly little poem I wrote and she said it meant a lot to her though it only took me a few minutes to come up with it. Thanks for sharing your words pick with us.

Christine in Alaska

See? What you thought was your ‘silly little poem’ had meaning for your friend. Isn’t that wonderful! Fran

joco December 17, 2009, 6:52 pm

Dear Fran,

You are so right: Often words are a greater gift than something one can touch. It is also a gift that can extend beyond life: I remember people in a phrase that they used or a joke that they made or a compliment they paid me. I am glad you reminded us of their lasting power.

Dear Joco,
Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. You are right on target! Have a wonderful holiday season. Fran

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