What gifts did you get this Valentine’s weekend? Aside from chocolates, I enjoyed a long peaceful weekend as Monday for us in Ontario Canada is Family Day. All these special days are too commercialized for me as any day can be Valentine’s Day or Family Day, don’t you agree?
A bouquet of flowers or prepared dinner are more meaningful to me when it is unexpected. Then an ordinary day becomes extra special, a private celebration to be remembered years after.
When my daughter was younger, she would cut, paint, fold & make greeting cards (Valentine, birthday & Christmas) for all of us. No virtual greeting card can equal the handwritten love notes from the child or family member. When my family comes together on a Sunday afternoon, we would prepare home cooked dishes. Now that my children are older, I treasure the family time we have. On the other hand, I have more time to pursue my other interests – writing and arts.
There is also another kind of gift. Consider this poem from well-known poet, Mary Oliver:
The Uses of Sorrow
Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.
It took me years to understand
that this, too, is a gift.
(by Mary Oliver, from Thirst, Beacon Press, Boston, 2006)
What for you turned out to be a gift? Feel free to share in the comments below. Or just say hello to your fellow writers. This community is a gift to us all.
Welcome to OpenLinkNight, everyone. This is Grace hosting for today’s sharing of our words. Are you ready to give away & receive the gift of words ?
If you are new here, let me tell you how it works:
- Write a poem and post it to your webpage.
- Click on the Mr. Linky button below and enter your name and direct url/web address to your poem
- There you will also find the list of those participating this week. You might want to refresh this occasionally or check back in as there are people joining over the next 33 hours.
- Read other poets that have linked. Let them know what you thought, how the poem moved you, what you think of their style, what caught your attention. Please don’t forget to return the favor of those who have visited and commented on your work.
- Encourage others to participate through social media, promote your own piece and others.
- Have fun meeting and engaging your fellow poets.
Happy Tuesday to everyone ~ Grace
Welcome to OLN everyone ~ I look forward to reading your words ~ Happy tuesday ~
Oh Grace, Mary Oliver ALWAYS knocks me sideways and has saved my life with her words many times! For Valentine’s Day, my partner sent me the hugest bouquet of roses to my workplace; i was completely taken aback and even a little embarrassed at my good fortune…we humans sure are a funny lot!
Yes, this site is a huge gift.
How sweet of your partner Mary ~ Thanks for dropping by 🙂
Hi Grace and everyone!
Yes, I agree with you unexpected and heart made sentiments are always treasured! I hope you had a lovely Family Day!
I guess my gift is also my curse. My back is bad sometimes-but it is also helped me to discover my passion in other areas of my life!
Mary Oliver reminds us to find the light in our darkness.
Hi Grace – Happy belated Valentine’s Day! Had a pretty good one here. The unexpected gift, for me, was the way the weekend just stitched itself together. Nothing elaborate, just perfect moments with my wife… even the goofy little cards and historical photo thing I put together last minute was more than imagined. Hope all is well with you and yours! Jay
And those moments are perfect ~ Thank you and happy to see you here Jay ~
I had a crazy, crazy week last week, and my husband offered to take me out for dinner for Valentine’s… but I told him that what I really wanted was our usual quiet Friday evening at home in front of the fire, doing nothing. It was just right. Sometimes, nothing is a a gift as well.
Happy Open Link Night to you, Grace, and to everyone!
A quiet night sounds good to me too Kelly ~ Happy OLN to you smiles ~
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Good evening.. a gift for me is time together… a vacation spent struggling through rain and sleet without cellular coverage… sometimes a gift could be to be left a while in solitude…
Time together is precious…and yes solittude is a gift as well ~ Good evening Bjorn 🙂
I agree, Bjorn.
Yes, you said it well! I too agree with Bjorn~
Oh hooray…nothing like me here busting in and so thrilled to be ! Tthat poem by Mary Oliver- very thought provoking. A box full of darkness…yeah, I have received a few…and I guess the journey is seeing it all as grace…gift. Perspective. It colors all our moments. I’m fired up on caffeine and ready to pound down the rounds! Whoohoo. Thanks to Starbucks, and chocolate…forgive my spasticness tonight.
I agree its a matter of perspective ~ Good to see you here Dawn 🙂
Caffeine makes me brave…and crazy. Ahem. 😉
Dawn you have perked my interest! ;D
And the caffeine is still working…
We had an amazing weekend, even though today felt more like Monday! It was a nice surprise that it was a) Tuesday and b) Open Link Night!
I got chocolate and books – food for the body and the mind. And sweet Angry Birds cards. 🙂
Perfect combination – chocolates and books, smiles ~ 🙂
♥QUEEN MAEBY♥ (@karenmaeby) said:
I had dinner with my best friend, the one that has become such an inspiration for my major life changes over the past year. There wasn’t any cards, candy or flowers – only dinner – and for the first time in 27 years, Valentine’s Day was actually amazing and perfect in a way it had never been before.
Sometimes those moments are the best of all ~ Thanks for sharing ~
Anthony Desmond said:
Hey Grace! Valentine’s Day was just a regular day in my neck of the woods… nothin’ special went on. smiles… Happy oln y’all! Decided to post from my tumblr and link a sloppy free-write for this week.
Hey Anthony 🙂 Looking forward to reading them, smiles ~
brian miller said:
we had a picnic dinner…japanese food on a blanket in the living room…was a good valentines….
happy OLN…i will be around in a bit
How creative and fun Brian ~ I would like to try this too 🙂
ha – happy belated valentines day – i got no gift at all – and i survived…smiles
nah… valentines is just swapping across the pond those last years, so still not in everyone’s veins and blood (except in the shop owner’s of course) i rather have an unexpected gift as well than a “scheduled” valentines gift – though i made a heart for hubs from daim and snickers bar wrapping paper…just for fun…smiles
Unexpected gifts are the best Claudia ~ That sounds like fun, smiles ~
the children make the most darling valentines for each other and us (parents) We make little cards for them, too. It is certainly a Hallmark holiday, but I can’t help myself with this one… making cards and sending chocolate! some favorite activities. (for the record: Valentines day is not the only day we do this way!! we often surprise each other with flowers, cards, or chocolate) Extra bonus this year was spending the day with my love on the Kitsap Peninsula, running Green Mountain trails. The great outdoors is a profound gift!
How sweet for you to make cards and send chocolates too ~ I agree, the great outdoors is a profound gift ~
Claudia, I did stuff like you, but didn’t receive a gift, but I too prefer the unexpected~
Linda Rogers said:
Hi Grace-Yippee, it’s OLN. Even if I don’t post a poem, it just feels like home to me when it’s open link night. V-Day was a mixed bag for sis and I. House Work, Out to Lunch and then supervising the teen as he had about 15 friends over that night. Thanks for tending bar Grace and if my schedules allows, I will drop by the bar with a poem.
Looking forward to your poem Linda ~ Thanks for dropping by 🙂
Madeleine Begun Kane said:
My husband and I enjoyed a lovely Valentine’s Day of snow-imposed hibernating. 🙂
We were snowed in too 🙂 Good to see you Madeleine 🙂
Hi Grace! we don’t do valentines, but my gift was spending time with my mother, as I don’t get to see her too often.
I wished my parents lived near by ~ Sounds a good time to me ~ Thanks for dropping by ~
i think that’s the most precious gift – when we spend time with someone
Laurie Kolp said:
I’m finally having a chance to participate in OLN.
Always good to see you Laurie ~ Hugs & love ~
it’s good to see you laurie – i know you’re going through a rough time at the moment..hugs..
it’s good to see you here, Laurie.
Hi Grace. 🙂
When my husband does most of the chores I normally do, I know I am having a wonderful gift.
Years ago, when I was still working long hours and getting depressed about work and such, I met a little girl while I was walking to the bus stop. I was particularly downcast that morning but then the girl gave me a big big smile. She did not know how much she cheered me up. Her smile lingers in my memory to this day.
Hi Imelda 🙂 What a treat if the men will do the chores without us telling them, smiles ~
What an angel of the girl to give you the smile ~ Thanks for sharing ~
oh i love those unexpected smiles – and they can just change the whole day – had a little boy on the lift next to me today – he was so sweet and cheered me up as well…
Ginny Brannan said:
Thanks for hosting and tending bar tonight, Grace. Wow, 1/2 hour into OLN and already 47 ahead of me!! We are getting a different kind of “gift” here in our neck of the woods today–more snow! Just came in from shoveling (again) and wrote the piece I’m sharing in about 10 minutes flat! Yeah, this weather can do that to ya!
Oh yes, I wanted to apologize for my last visit to OLN. Afraid I did not comment as much as I should have. Just started working full-time again, and still adjusting. Will have every other Tuesday off on rotating schedule, so will at least stop by on those weeks when I have time to share, read and comment. See you all inside!!
smiles… i was in the snow as well today…snowboarding in the mountains… all the best for your full time work start – i can imagine that it needs some time to adjust
Ginny Brannan said:
Ah Claudia, sounds a whole lot more fun than shoveling! Been watching all those snowboarders at the Olympics. Must be a wonderful feeling of freedom, to fly down the hills with the wind in your face!
Hi Ginny 🙂 We got snow here too~ In a way winter is a gift because it makes me so excited to welcome spring ~ Good to see you here ~
Ginny Brannan said:
With more than 2-1/2 feet of snow on the ground and more falling, Spring seems like a distant spot on the horizon right now here!
Poet Laundry said:
Those handmade heart Valentines kids make are just precious…love those…but mostly I love just being together, hanging out, laughing together…
Love that poem you selected of Mary Oliver’s too…short but it speaks volumes and really resonates with me. Great to read it here again. Thanks Grace…happy OLN to all 🙂
happy oln and good to see you… and hanging out and laughing together sounds better than any card…smiles
We keep the children cards still, so sweet to read them now & then ~ Good to see you here Jennifer 🙂
oh i almost forgot – i got a valentine’s gift – a pic and message by a treasured friend….steve e. – and that was unexpected and teared me up a bit even…smiles
How sweet of Steve E 🙂
Grace, there could not be a more appropriate Mary Oliver poem for you to have chosen today, when I receive news today that a recent love is marrying the doctor whom she left me for. Well, as Vonnegut says, so it goes… ~
How sad Michael ~ I hope someday it will turned out to be a blessing ~ Hugs to you ~
Joseph Hesch said:
Sorry I’m late, Grace. I’m home resting (i.e., sleeping) recovering from a broken foot I gave myself over the weekend. Forgot I had something written to share. Have a wonderful OLN, everyone. I think I’m gonna lie back again. Hope you like the Poem.
Having a broken foot is no fun ~ Take care Joe ~ I will be checking out your poem and everyone else once I get home in a bit ~
Ginny Brannan said:
Hey “hop a-long,” glad to see you made it! Was wondering where you were.
this is a well-rounded prompt, Grace. I like looking at the different kinds of gifts that come through my experience, and am interested to read what others have to share. there is a slim chance I will post but will def. read some of the links.
Thanks for dropping by and visiting Jane ~ Take care ~
Bah, humbug. 🙂
Hi Charles 🙂
Oh this is easy an easy one to answer, Grace. I once attended a fly by night business school. I say fly by night, because three months after I graduated, the “Institute” went out of business. It was so bad, I was told to remove it from my resume as it was not a selling point for those who knew the establishment. So what’s the gift? In my second semester I met, and promptly cussed at, the cool, tall drink of shameless, dimpled deviltry that would eventually become my (now late) husband. For me the school served no other purpose than to join us together.
Sometimes the universe just works that way.
In hindsight, some things may be better after all ~ Happy OLN Ravienne ~
Nice thoughts here Grace. I can’t think of one special gift. I’ve received so many in my life. But each day is like a gift, a present to open and enjoy. Thank you for hosting.
good to see you myrna – and def. each day is a gift – we should take none of them for granted
Each day is like a gift, I agree with you Myrna ~
Victoria C. Slotto said:
When my last position was downsized, I retired early and began writing my first novel. Writing has given me such a joie de vivre, such a gift. So often there is blessing hidden in seeming adversity. Thanks for this and for hosting, Grace. I will be in later as my husband has comandeered the laptop
I turn to writing during the autumn of 2010, when I was feeling so so depressed ~ In a way, my challenges proved to be blessing ~ Good to see you Victoria ~
I will be around to respond and return visits in a bit ~
smiles… poetry found me in summer 2010… it was a bit like kidnapping…somehow…overwhelming…and still is…smiles
ok… i was snowboarding today and my muscles feel sore..ha.. cannot keep my eyes open for one more minute… so… will catch up with you tomorrow morning… good night…
Have a good night Claudia ~ See you tomorrow ~
How wonderful that my poem tonight ties in with the theme of your post – and I wrote it much earlier today! Life is full of these coincidences – happy, uncanny events.
Will be over in a bit ~ I agree with you on coincidences, but I believe that being open to receiving them is also half of the magical equation ~
A very good point!
Hi Grace! Thank so much for hosting…. As far as Valentine’s Day, well I got two Valentines. (Smiles) Actually my daughter told me that my grandchildren made cards for me, but I haven’t seen them yet. LOL. It doesn’t matter. Love exists with or without cards!!
The poem you shared of Mary Oliver’s is a thought-provoking one. I suppose if someone gives a person a box of darkness one also learns to appreciate the light.
Happy Open Link to all!
Yes, appreciating the light and every bit of it ~ Enjoy those cards Mary ~ See you around the trail, smiles ~
I love home-made and crafted cards, and have kept cross-stitched, painted, folded cards from donkeys years ago. Now we can tweak our photos or sketches and add fancy fonts to messages using our computers, just as personal and desirable.
Add a song or music or personalized greeting, cards have come a long way ~ Happy OLN to you Viv ~
I think I had the best present I could get, the little one went to sleep early (mind you, that means 23h!) and me and my husband shared some beer and tenderness. I think time we spend smiling with our loved ones are most precious gifts.
I also remember making cards for everyone, I must take it upon my spirit to find time to enjoy doing that again!
I agree, those are precious time ~ Thanks for sharing 🙂
Abhra Pal said:
Absolutely agree with you there – the moments are so commercialized, so dry and superficial that it loses a personal touch. I made a small acrylic painting for my wife though she didn’t have time to get me a gift – our one year old keeps her very busy- but we saw our child smile at us – and that’s our greatest gift to one another.
Not participating in OLN though- too tired to write 🙂
That is sweet of you Abhra 🙂 Thanks for dropping by anyway ~ We are still open all day tomorrow 🙂
Loredana Donovan said:
Hi Grace, I enjoyed your post and completely agree! I don’t have time to link but wanted to let you know I was here. Thank you for sharing the poem by Mary Oliver, one of my favorite poets–I hadn’t read that one–powerful! Well, I got a box full of chocolates and heart-shaped, too! Smiles 🙂
Mary’s poems are amazing – simple yet pricks to the core ~ Been munching on chocolates all weekend too ~ Thanks for visiting Loredana ~ 🙂
Thanks for hosting, Grace, and happy Open Link Night to all!
Happy OLN to you too ~
Other Mary said:
Ooooh – it feels so good to be back! And I love the Mary Oliver piece you quotes Grace! Thank you for that and for hosting.
Other Mary said:
*Oops – that should be, “quoted.”
Thanks for being here Mary 🙂
Ginny Brannan said:
I could not figure out where to comment on Laura Hegfield’s blog site. Hoping she’ll check back here. Just wanted her to know that her images, both by word and photo, were just lovely!
Hi Ginny, the comment section is after all the images (you have scroll down down)~ I hope she reads your comments here ~
Ginny Brannan said:
Thanks, Grace! Guess I didn’t scroll down far enough. Went back and shared a comment.
Hello Grace and thank you for hosting. Roses and chocolates delivered to my door – but the best part the accompanying card that read – ‘Just because you’re you’..
Happy writing and OLN everyone.
That’s a lovely message & gifts ~ Happy OLN to you too 🙂
Well I am biding you all good night and will check back in the morning for the overnight poems ~ Keep them coming ~
brian miller said:
sleep well grace
thank you for tending
and tending well.
good morning… smiles… need a strong coffee and then out on the trail to read…
Hi Grace..I am also in Ontario. 🙂
Among other gifts on Valentine’s Day,I think the greatest one for me was watching the babies at the daycare I work at, enjoy our Valentine’s Party. It was a challenge to come up with baby proof activities but the light in their eyes made it all worth it. They truly have the biggest hearts.
It’s great to be back in the pub….
ah that sounds lovely… and welcome back
Welcome back ~ Those smiles from the children are precious ~
managed to return comments and have to leave for work now but will be back in the evening to read some more… happy wednesday
what a great conversation developed here this/last evening.
Fun to read how Valentine’s day was celebrated. Thank you for the the prompt of a gift, Grace.
It is nice to read it all the next day. I don’t participate much because we are five hours ahead of the US east coast and more the West, and I close down my computer at 5p.m. African time…. so if I don’t say much there is a reason. 🙂
Good morning from my part of the world ~ Doing my rounds of poetry reading 🙂
Tina Downey said:
This place certainly is a gift to us, and I appreciate all that all of you do to make this the best bar in town.
Today I was sleepless in CO and invented my own style of poetry. I hope the bouncers don’t kick me out for that…
Basically, I’m a movie and song quoting kind of girl – it’s a game my family plays a LOT, so I took what I wanted to say, and with only a few original words to tie it together, wrote about how I’ve been feeling lately. Made sense at 3am…I’m kinda excited to see what you all think…
Tina @ Life is Good
I like the graceful ending, smiles ~ Thanks for dropping by Tina ~
Hi Grace….very late here…thank you for what you do.!~
Some ‘call and answer’ poetry fashioned from the Japanese Man’yoshu.
Good to see you Jane ~ Not too late as I am reading and taking my time to savor the words ~
brian miller said:
and grace…thank you for doing that…smiles.
brian miller said:
whassup…always good to see you….smiles.
have not checked is this the piece you sent me last week?
guess i will have to go see…