Tag Archives: Africa

Gifts of Excellence

This past weekend, I was graced with gifts of excellence for a full 48 hours.  I left Sonoma on Saturday to go to L.A. to see my family for my 50th birthday and to attend the Academy Awards the following day with my husband. 

Gnocchi (Photo credit: Enrico Matteucci ☸)

Moment by moment, I was lost in perfection.  I was surprised by unexpected family members who came from far and away to celebrate my big 50 at my parent’s home.  In preparation of this event, my mother made and rolled one potato Gnocchi at a time, enough for 9 hungry mouths.  As we all sat at the long dining room table, with pride, my mother presented our favorite Italian delicacy on a big platter, which took her years to perfect.  She demonstrated her excellence in her cooking and in being a mother. 

Next, came the gifts from family.  I was given a gift of beauty, a sea green glass pendant that looks as if it was designed by Gustav Klimt, my favorite Art Nouveau artist.  There is a shimmer and sheen to the glass, with gold and green swirls, the black tree looks like a cactus from the desert. 

I was also given a first edition book of Out of Africa, by Isak Dinesen from my sister and her husband.  I am a lover of literature and to have this rare find on my book shelf makes my life rich beyond compare. 

Lastly, my parents gave me a gold pendant bracelet that my mother wore when she was young.  It is engraved with her initials, MD, which just happen to be mine.  I will cherish this heirloom forever.

As for the academy awards, it was thrilling to be in the midst of excellence seen in the long designer gowns of stars, or experienced in the entertaining performances by Billy Crystal, Cirque du Soleil and Chris Rock or found in the refreshing acceptance speeches by actor/actress, editors, cinematographers, writer/composer/directors.

What these experiences, whether it be emotional, spiritual and/or physical have in common are their unique gifts of beauty, excellence and perfection.  We each have these gifts and they can be tasted in a homemade Gnocchi recipe, seen in an original sea glass pendant, read in a book of Africa, remembered in a young woman’s memory, engraved on a gold pendant.

In the past, I looked at excellence or perfection as a quality I could never live up to, a high bar I could never reach.  But as I let my heart flow and live honestly in my own skin, openly in my mind, I see my natural abilities take hold and surface with ease.  

Each of us holds gifts of excellence if we just let them be seen, felt and heard.  With love being the greatest gift of excellence there is.