People give each other presents all the time. Sometimes those presents can be seen, held and even wrapped. Some presents, on the other hand, have little or no physical reality at all.
I was once given a poem. Actually over the years, I’ve been given several, some of them even written by the donor, but this one was extra special. I used to sit, curled up on the bed, listening to it being read for me by someone special. I’ve treasured it ever since. It’s actually a gift which later became tangible, when he gave me a book containing that same poem.
Similarly I have been given music. Sometimes in physical form on cassette, sometimes merely through a shared listening. Many of those songs are special to me still. Nobody’s ever written a song specifically for me yet, mind you. Feel free to try.
Rarely I am given a place, a location with some special significance, they too remain in my heart forever.
Don’t get me wrong, I love opening big, brightly wrapped boxes and finding out what’s inside. But the gifts which leave the biggest impression are those given from the heart.
And so, the poem in question still moves me, and I still think very fondly of the man who read it to me, so long ago. Let me share it with you all. Another intangible gift.
Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
by W. B. Yeats