Monday, June 6, 2011


On our way home yesterday something happened that left me feeling strangely disturbed much of the evening but also reminded me that I was blessed to be with a man with a big heart and to have many generous souls as friends. Today I needed to think about the nature of my generosity, or rather, the lack of it.

I came across this book at my friend Moira's 15 years ago. The work had been translated and published in 1960 and was no longer in print. The poetry of the writing and the author's sensibilities touched my heart.

And she simply gave the book to me.

To a most special friend, Rung!
(read p.30-31 Dear Martha)
Lucky me to have met you!
Sincerely, Moira

And here is the letter Dear Martha that the author wrote to a twelve-year-old little girl:

Dear Martha:
If people ever tell you that they love you, it is best if you would first consider whether they would be ready to give you their favorite book-- their most beloved doll-- or their enchanting spring hat. I think that is as good a test as any.

You see, my darling, today I am sending you my beloved sea-shell collection, which I am even now packing into an exquisite little japanese basket which I have had for many years. I have, myself, gathered these shells on the shores of the Adriatic, and among many thousands that were strewn about on the sand, these were the choicest and most perfect in color. I collected these treasures to assist my memory, if ever I tried to recall the healing, care-free days I had spent on the Lido. These artistic masterpieces of the Adriatic are very dear to me, and only two of them, the Tiger-shells, I had to buy in a shop, because they can only be obtained at the very greatest depth of the sea.

So now I am sending you my little treasure trove, and if you want to know whether you really love someone, you must first consider whether you are prepared to give these shells up as willingly and gladly as I do now.

With all my heart,

I am holding this book in my hand again, re-reading Peter's letter and Moira's note. It is one of the very few things I know I will always have with me to treasure and talk to me about kindness and perhaps one day I will learn to have a big heart too.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ça me rappelle une chanson :

"These are a few of My Favorite Things"