These pears were grown in the Central Coast, CA region where “intriguing, up and coming wines” are being produced. They’re not from Napa Valley but rather family friendly Paso Robles having become home to hundreds of wineries with distinct personalities and award winning varieties. It is from this sunny region of vineyards and popular state fairgrounds that these beautiful pears and Italian plums were grown.

The kids gave the pear tree a little extra attention this season resulting in the “Harry and David-like” quality of this year’s crop—further evidence that the soil and sunshine of this region produces pears of perfection with gift giving quality. And so when they came for a weekend visit they brought me the pears as a gift.

Enjoying one of them yesterday I appreciated not only their large size but also texture, fragrance, and mild sweetness. Slowly an awareness of something else came to mind—maybe because we did not have a fruit and veg garden ourselves growing up. A vague memory featuring a patch of rhubarb comes to mind but that’s beside the point. This reflection had something to do with an aspect not related to the variety or flavor of the pear. The perfection of them and the fact that I neither tended them myself nor spent my own money to obtain them floated in my mind.

That is the nature of a gift. We don’t necessarily do anything in particular to earn one. Even the days we receive the most gifts have to do with either Someone else’s birth or someone having given birth to us. Think about that for a moment . . .

A gift is something we didn’t labor for or water and fertilize for years. It is free. We didn’t earn it or else it would be a payment and not a gift. We might say that someone who doesn’t study but has the effortless ability to earn straight A’s in class is “gifted.” The child who picks up a paint brush and creates a masterly portrait without ever taking a lesson is considered gifted. They possess something they didn’t work for or intentionally develop.

There are psychological reasons why some of us feel we deserve the finer things, the best in life, accolades and awards that we haven’t earned. But the humble among us will attempt to refuse a gift saying, “Oh no, its too much, I couldn’t accept that” and mean it.

Accept the gift, my friend. Develop the gift. Use the gift. Share your gift. If you’re a writer, WRITE! A singer, SING! A care-giver, GIVE! A preacher, PREACH! These and many more are the gifts that we are now responsible to use and to share to make the world a place where other things may grow.

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