"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Monday, 16 August 2010

Eco-friendly gifts

I have been trying to figure out why the gifts that Petro and Neels brought to me on my birthday meant so much.

They were very simple gifts - a few freshly cut flowers from their garden, a jar of home made preserves, a large bag of dry wood and a bottle of bubbly - and nothing fancy at that - just a palatable wine with bubbles.

Neels had met RMan in the local shop earlier that day as RMan was reaching for a bundle of firewood.  Upon enquiring what the wood was for, and being told it was for the promised fire in my new Dover Stove for my birthday, Neels said, "Rubbish - that wood is still wet - I have plenty of dry wood - I'll bring some round later".

And true to his word they arrived as the sun was going down - perfect timing.

The bubbly was shared amongst us all, and very appreciated.  The flowers joined my husband's roses in the empty coffee jar, in pride of place on my kitchen counter, and we all sat round the welcome heat of the new Dover stove, enjoying each other's company without any need to stand on ceremony.

I think I have figured it out ...

They brought gifts from the heart - without the necessity of having to rush out to the local shop and find  "suitable" gift.  They gave of themselves, of their handiwork and of their time - so simple and so very appreciated.  The most eco-friendly gift in the world :-)

I think we spend far too much time focussing on the "perfect gift", the right label, the amount we can / can't spend - we've forgotten how to give of ourselves.

Thank you, Petro and Neels - you gave me a great treasure that night - and one I will remember for a long time to come.


African Bliss said...

I agree a friend or persons own valued time is the best gift one can recieve. We also have a Dover,and I am in love with it. To cook with it or bake you have to form a relationship with it to figure out all its little tricks of the trade. Enjoy it.