First thing that Monday morning as I stood with teacup in hand, my eyes focused on the tiny Christmas tree ornament I had set on top of the microwave a few nights before. The package I found lying on my front steps at dusk the previous Friday night was from Michael Queen, a recent intuition student. With it, he had scrawled a note on the back of his business card saying only that the ornament reminded him of me.
So much had happened in the intervening weekend that I had not had a moment to really appreciate it. But in the instant I spotted it that Monday morning, I knew that what Michael had seen in this particular figure, was much more than the trinket it appeared to be at first glance. When Michael gazed at this Christmas ornament, he was looking into my future.
I was already in a happy mood when I spotted Michael’s present that Friday night in the darkness. I had been out playing in the North Carolina woods all day with my new husband John and his grown son Wesley. The day had been a rare treat for two reasons. John and I had taken a rare day off from work, and we were spending it with Wes, whom I had spent little time with since I married his father.
We spent the weekend exploring the western North Carolina mountains and playing board games. When we awoke on Sunday morning, we were shocked to see the ground covered with an unusually early snowfall. By the time the snow had quit falling, five inches of it wrapped the November woods in soft, white scarf of silence. Wes, a native Georgian who had not seen much snow at that point in his life, was the most excited, but his bubbling enthusiasm was contagious. He insisted we build a snowman. John came out with us, but he was never really engaged in the project. Wes and I let the snow tell us what form our statue would take, and it became a Buddha, sitting in full lotus position. As I formed Buddha’s fat cheeks, an obviously western nose, and lopsided Asian eyes, Wes sculpted his arms and hands, which fell stiffly into Buddha’s chubby lap.
Feeling both silly and inspired, Wes and I became completely immersed in our creation. The snowman was ours–stepmother and stepson. That Sunday afternoon as Wes and I sculpted our statue, we also shaped a relationship of light-hearted camaraderie.
Not long after we finished the snowman, Wes hugged me goodbye. With so much going on over the weekend, I had not thought about the gift my intuition student had sent me since I set it down on top of the microwave that Friday night. But Monday morning when my eyes lit on the Christmas ornament that Michael sent, I knew that when he had associated me with this figure, his new-found intuition had zeroed in on more than just the maternal nature I showered on my students. Sitting atop the microwave was a tiny snowman. A snow woman, actually. A snow mother, to be more specific, hugging a little snow boy.