Today I came home in a bit of a mood, thwarted and unhappy in some very deep places, but what should arrive but a completely unexpected and flat out amazing package from Karen of Strange Horizons. Not a surprise in the usual sense, as she sent me a note about it yesterday, asking if I had received anything from her in the mail, expected due date somewhere the back of December, but because we sadly presumed it to be lost in transit. Yet, to whatever caused the delay, I can only thank it. There could be no better timing. She has an exquisite grace about her that I devoutly admire, mesmerizing even over long distances, and it bleeds into her gifts, which are so sweet and clever as to make me cry, two years now in a row. There’s nothing else like it in my life.
So though my morning may have started with an ache tightly, bitterly laced to my heart, since I’ve opened the cardboard box to discover it packed full of pretty, delicate paper and shiny hand-curled ribbons in my favourite colours and read her card, scented with sugar and lemon and love, I feel so grateful and vulnerable that if I were to leave the house, I would cover up my face. (Can’t go around blinding people, after all. Pretty sure that’s against the rules.)
It’s amazing to be reminded so perfectly that though I’m isolated, I’m not alone. Her gifts are witchcraft, sent to foster healing and prevent further harm. Medicine against sadness, (couture chocolates and gourmet mint cocoa), hello kitty for sprains, (a plush ice-pack), sticks and stones to ward off injury from same, (glowsticks and pop rocks), a sweet serum to bring blackbirds back to life, (sugar exfoliant), and one. last. winsome. package. wrapped in turquoise and gold that I am almost afraid to open, because what if my head falls off from awe? Stranger things have happened. Have I mentioned we’ve never met? Stranger things, indeed.