This time, it wasn't the post office's fault.
Perhaps I should be a little sadder?
Here is why it never made it.
This is the bee-YOO-tiful Icelandic sheep pelt I purchased...uh, for my cousin and her new baby... from Monica at Small Meadow Farm, who has the most gorgeous sheep.
I had every good intention.
This was to be very special. It's for a baby that even prior to birth never was nourished with anything but the freshest and purest organic and homegrown foods, devoid of all the bad stuff. A plump, cuddly, newborn infant who would be nestled all warm and snug into the springy caress of softest wool....the gift...far from the blast of cold winter air or chilly drafts. Babe and wool in perfect harmony.
Only the best wool would do. Only THIS pelt would do...
Look at those waves and crimps...white to silver to charcoal...(sigh of bliss)
Look at it backlit by the sun, the springy loft and depth that makes you want to sink your fingers right into it...or just to hold it up and nestle into it (ok, maybe I have wool issues...), the variations of color undulating throughout...
And the glow of Devonshire Cream and hint of Vanilla when the light hits it just so.
I thought it the perfect gift...unique...one-of-a-kind...personal
However, I was a very tiny bit insecure. After all it was for a baby gift. Was this a little over-the-top? A little bit over-personalized to the point of being, well, strange?? The sort of gift they'd really really love, or ....think was, well, strange??
I usually adopt the rule when buying for people like myself "buy what I would like," and it usually works well. But the closer the birth date drew, the more paranoid I got about whether they'd truly appreciate this....gorgeous...pelt. Like I would. If I, too, were pushing out a full term baby without pain killers or hospital personnel, right there in the living room, like a heroic pioneer girl. My imagination began working overtime.
"Well, dear, do you have everything you need for the baby?"
"Yes, Mom, we have the crib and the cloth diapers, plenty of sheets and blankets. Not to mention the pelt."
This conversation and others like it filtered through my mind over and over the more paranoid I got about whether it was a ridiculous thing to send...even though to ME it was PERFECT. I comforted myself every time I walked past my sofa and sank my fingers into the deep woolly wonderful-ness. (<----My grammar teacher just groaned again)
And so, the big day came. Yes, my cousin who is no bigger than the fine edge of a piece of typing paper had a home midwife delivery, safely and heroically, and now has an adorable daughter, her first child. They are ecstatic. And of course, tired.
It was this tired ecstasy I heard when she called to tell me the good news. She could only talk for a bit before trying to catch a needed nap. It was hardly the time to assess other things, yet I did ask what she needed, if anything. She named a couple small items, after which I casually mentioned that we'd be mailing a gift soon. And happened to mention I'd given some thought to something unique, warm, beautiful...but was a little unsure as to whether they'd like one or not...a....uh, a....yes well a pelt, beautiful warm woolly pelt.
Since telephone lacks the benefit of the visual element, there was no body language to read. Only the exhaustion of a new mom totally in love with her new daughter. So, since there was no particular reply to my statement, I changed the subject and we rounded things out with well wishes and goodbyes to all.
And THIS....bee-YOO-tiful...woolly wonder...will remain right here, at home in the sunny spot at the back of the sofa, petted and beloved. Until my cousin one day visits and her eyes light up at its very sight and she sighs a particular sigh and I feel released to entrust it into her care...OR...(in the event that doesnt happen) till never, and it's (to put it ever so delicately)...MINE MINE MINE!!! (lol ok am I happy or what?)
And so, for now, we sent the gift that keeps on giving.
And I ...I will lean back into a silvery crimped softness and springy wooliness and dream of sunny fields , the crackle of golden hay, slow gentle creatures and crazily leaping lambs.