I climb a winding stair with a heavy load
My breath falls short, my arms ache
The contents spill over the edge of my basket
As I wobble on the brink of every step
I pant and sweat, try to reach out and grab what falls
Though I can’t afford to let go even for a minute.
Ahead on the staircase I see people with bigger baskets
And an emptiness opens in my chest
I look down at my feet and then I see behind me multitudes
Thronging the stairway, some with baskets half-full and some with empty,
Some, in fact, with no basket at all – only bare hands.
My vision clears and I recognize the fruits I carry:
Friendship, family, love, health, food and shelter.
All is gift.
Now I let the contents spill freely
I hope that my fallen fruits will land in their empty arms
The absence of a few blessings cannot dent my abundance
In fact, the load is lighter now, easier to bear.
Then I see you beside me, your basket empty on the ground
Your arms full of gifts to share.
You remind me that to be rich does not require abundance,
Only enough, and my burden is no burden at all,
But gift beyond measure.