December 9, 2011

The Gift of You

Last Sunday, Papallama and I were celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary with a stroll around Main Street when we happened upon a book signing.  I love running into events like this and meeting new authors in person.  It provides such a personal glimpse into the inspiration for the story. 

This was the such the case that afternoon.  Donna Thornton described her book, The Christmas Donkey, that she wrote for her mother as a gift.  With her mother's encouragement and urging, Donna published the story to share with all of us.  Donna's family owns a working raspberry farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  One year a wee donkey was born and named Drupelet just like the bump on the raspberry that produces the drop of juice.  In the story, Drupelet was pretty satisfied with life on the farm until he happened upon a pasture where he saw, for the first time, the beautiful horses with their glossy coats and long, slender legs.  Drupelet very much wanted to belong to this group of equines, but his mother admonished him.  They would have no interest in a common donkey.  Drupelet's feelings were bruised, and he was no longer satisfied playing among his other farm friends like before.  Then, at the beginning of winter, a truck arrived with a trailer.  Drupelet was loaded on and taken on a short ride to a small town up the road.  What he saw next was the strangest sight.  There were sheep, goats, and even three camels.  Humans were dressed in heavy garments and they placed a baby human on a manger of hay!  For hours that evening, people walked by and watched.  Drupelet stayed very still.  When he returned to the farm, he told his story to all of his farm animal friends.  Buster, the wise barn cat, had seen an event such as this before and explained to Drupelet that he had been chosen to represent the donkey that Mary, the mother of Jesus, rode into Bethelem so her baby could be born exactly where the Bible said he would be born.  Now Druplet was filled with joy and understood his purpose.  He knew he didn't have to be a race horse to be important.  He was meant to be a Christmas donkey!

My favorite line is this. "It takes the single drupelet and MANY others for the fruit to be beautiful and delicious."

We all have a purpose, a gift, something meaningful to give.  Donna's mother has the gift of growing beautiful gardens.  Donna's gift is writing beautiful stories.  Lynne Pryor uses her gift to illustrate it. 

I think (and hope) the story will touch someone who in some way has felt left out, put down, unimportant, or disappointed.  Perhaps it will help PDub and Baby Bird understand to accept themselves and recognize the gifts in others. We all have a purpose, a small, yet important role in the bigger story.

Go ahead and open your gift and have a very Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Will be looking for this book. Sounds I might need to read it for myself.