“Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn.” William Arthur Ward
Every Christmas, I make handmade gifts for my dear friends and loved ones. One year everyone got a knitted cap, another year a decoupage tile, another a decoupage tin can/pencil holder. This year I remained in my usual handmade vein but with a twist – I gave everyone a gift pack made up of a decoupage flower pot, a bag of soil, an acorn, a letter with instructions on how to plant the acorn and a DVD of “The Man Who Planted Trees”.
I was a bit wary at first of giving the gifts to people. Although most of the people I know are nature lovers, not all are. And it’s quite unusual to be given such a gift for Christmas, most people expecting a box of chocolates or perfume or some liquor. But I said to myself, Mary, it doesn’t matter what they think. If they chuck the gift in the bin, that’s their choice. But if this Christmas you change the life of just one person with this gift, if just one person plants that acorn and succeeds, all that time spent doing the decoupage, burning the DVDs, collecting the acorns, wrapping and preparing the gifts was worth it.
So come the week before Christmas, I take a deep breath and give my children’s teachers, my friends, my family their gifts with not just a little trepidation. And you know what? I don’t think I’ve ever received such a lovely positive reaction from people come any Christmas. One teacher said she was brought to tears with the gift. Another said that she posted the video on her Facebook page so she could spread the word to all her friends. The teachers at kindy made me a plethora of angels.
Which proves what I have always believed – just like the flutter of a butterfly’s wing a thousand miles away can cause a tornado, so too can we cause a tidal wave of change with our acts, no matter how small. We may not believe it at the time, but we can. A smile, an act of kindness, signing a petition, a humble acorn, everything can make a difference. For in the words of Marian Wright Edelman “We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.”