The Right Gift

I met her on my first trip to Mexico, my beautiful, funny friend the harpist.  We spent about half a day wandering around the capital together, laughing and talking, and that was all it took to lay the foundation of a friendship as solid and nourishing as any I can ever hope to have.

On my second trip, I arranged to stay a few days with her.  As part of my visit, she and her older daughters (10 and 13 then, now both grown and married!) and I took the bus to Taxco so I could buy jewelry and we could wander that city a little.

In one craft market we split up for a while.  I found a gorgeous necklace I thought would suit her perfectly.  It was a few dozen strands of coral-colored seed beads, a cascade of color to drape around her neck.  I bought it and slipped it into my bag, looking forward to surprising her later.

And I did surprise her, but I had a surprise of my own, too.  I took out my gift and she took out one for me:


We had bought each other the same necklace!  As we happily accepted our gifts and exclaimed over the fabulous coincidence of them, we both noticed there was something just a tiny bit different.  The necklace I’d bought for her had a single black bead in the sea of coral.  The necklace she’d bought for me had one white bead (which I have hightlighted with extreme subtlety in the photo) … as if we each put a piece of ourselves into the gift, left a signature.

I am remembering that day in Taxco, remembering her beautiful daughters, remembering the necklaces, remembering all the excellent time we’ve spent together both in Mexico and New York because today she arrives!  I haven’t seen her since 2006, and today her much-anticipated visit is finally here.  I can’t wait to see her.



is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers.


4 thoughts on “The Right Gift

  1. We had dinner last night (at Panna II — a crazily-bedecked Indian restaurant that makes any dinner all party all the time) and then went to hear some Venezuelan jazz at the Village Vanguard. Sadly, I had to make it an early night (home by 11:30) because I had class this morning!


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