I delighted in watching them add spoonfuls and scoopfuls of the ingredients. After the sugar, salt, yeast, water, milk, butter, and flour were mixed and kneaded, I said, “Oh, Alexis and Anthony. I almost forgot to add the love.”
Although lots of loving had been part of the process, I wanted to add love consciously. So I took a deep breath, smiled broadly, and kneaded a minute longer, while reciting, “Love, love, love…”
“I don’t see the love, Nana,” said Anthony. “Where is it? I want to see it.”
Alexis looked at her brother and then at me, expectantly. She seemed to agree. She could see the sugar, salt, yeast, water, milk, and flour. But where was the love?
Needless to say, two-year-olds are not ready to grasp abstract concepts like love. However, they are beginning to understand them. They know what’s it’s like to love and be loved. Nevertheless, these two wanted to see love with their eyes.
Don’t we all, at times, want to better see love and all the gifts of life? In fact, I think we sometimes forget about them; or we think of these gifts as ideals that are not quite as real as all the material things we can see and hold in our hands.
Life’s gifts. Strength. Beauty. Courage. Compassion. Hope. Joy. We can’t unwrap them like birthday presents. But we can open our hearts to them, and we can add them mindfully, prayerfully, to everything that we make and everything that we do.