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My Love
by: David Osborne, Crumpled Papers

My Love,

You've asked what you can send me while I'm on cruise; those things which I want but cannot get while on the ship thousands of miles away. The list was fairly easy to write. I suspect that it won't be so easy to fill the order.

Please send me autumn. Fill a box with that special chill the evenings get that forebodes the cold of winter, that Jack Frost nip. Add the colors of fall: the yellows, reds and browns of leaves whose cycle of life has ended. Send me the sound they make as you shuffle through ankle-deep blankets of them scattered across the yard. Be sure to wrap some of the fragrant smoke which spirals up from the pile as they burn. Package with it the yellow harvest moon caught in the naked branches of a tree which has begun its winter sleep.

Later you can send me winter. Send me the first heavy snowfall; that muted, magical silence which comes down across the land with the fat flakes that pile up quickly. Don't forget the taste of snowflakes on my tongue, or the dusting of snow caught in your hair like jewels. Send me a blanket of white under a full moon, when the land seems to glow. Send me a snowman, or even better a snow family with a snow-daddy, snow-mommy and little snow children with button eyes, sticks for arms and carrots for noses. Send me an evening in front of a fireplace with hopes and dreams in the flames. Send me some of your warmth, as we snuggle beneath the covers on a cold December night. Icicles, too; long sturdy ones and thin delicate ones.

The holidays, too, I'll want those. Send me Halloween with the little witches, ghosts, cowboys and pirates. Carefully wrap for me the shy voices which whisper "trick or treat" from the little fairies joining in the ritual for the first time. Package them carefully with the louder, bolder cries of the more experienced trolls and Indians hidden safely behind disguises they are sure could fool even their own parents. Send me the smell of freshly carved pumpkins with their funny or horrifying jack-o-lantern grins and snarls. Capture for me some of the more grown-up magic that comes later that one night a year near the witching hour, when after the little ones are tucked in their beds and the house is quiet except maybe for a branch against the window and even grownups get an uneasy feeling that perhaps there are haunts and goblins about in the night.

Save for me the smells of roast turkey and dressing, homemade breads and pies. Send me the smells of Thanksgiving, as the food is cooked all day and the table is piled higher and higher. Send me that quiet sense of pride and accomplishment that rests briefly between setting the table and the feasting frenzy.

Send me a Christmas tree. Not just any tree; a fresh cut tree felled by small hands assisted by mom and dad. Send it to me with fresh cut smell, some lights and sparkles all draped in tinsel carelessly tossed here and there as the young 'uns try to out do each other. Send me a glass of eggnog, ever so gently spiked. Take your sips first, and leave the prints from your lips there on the glass for me to see and taste. Send me that sleepless anticipation of the night before Christmas, when little angels are trying so hard to go to sleep, knowing in their hearts that Santa won't come until they sleep. Share with me a glass of milk and a couple of chocolate chip cookies as we help preserve the fleeting illusions of childhood. Send me the excited shouts as little ones get their first glimpse of the piles of gifts left by St Nick. Send the crinkle and tear of wrapping paper and the oohs and aahs that punctuate each gift as it is exposed and shown around. Send me the hugs as everyone opens the gifts that were "just what I wanted!"

For the last day of the year, send me a quiet evening spent with you as we look forward to another year together, and marvel at all we survived the year before.

Space out the packages, but send me all the changes of season, all the day-to-day worries and joys, all the holidays that I'll miss as I sit halfway around the world from you. Most of all, send me your thoughts and hopes, your dreams and wishes, your smiles and tears.

Most of all, send me your love.




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