Love, Lindt and Lanterns

I’ve just been moved to tears. Everyone loves getting letters and packages. I rarely get either. But tonight, I came home to both a letter and a package.

The letter turned out to be £3.00 in Boots vouchers, from some company who promised to send £3.00 in Boots vouchers if I filled in a two minute survey about my feelings towards apple juice. I just enjoy expressing my love for apple juice and I never expected they’d actually send vouchers. Score!

The package turned out to be one of the most beautiful things I have ever received. It was completely unexpected and was given with love. It isn’t Christmas. It isn’t my birthday. I didn’t rescue their dog from falling through ice.

Opening this box was an act of pure joy! One by one, so many lovely things came out of it. First was a bag of ‘chicken bones’ candy. Something I’ve never come across and can’t wait to try! It seems the cinnamon-covered chocolates are a delicacy in New Brunswick- the origin of this particular box. Also in the box was a beautiful postcard of ‘Plage Parlee Beach’ in New Brunswick. Even better was the writing on the back- kind words handwritten so far away in blue pen.

Then came the lantern. I could write an essay about how perfect and beautiful this lantern is. I could write for hours about the elephants and the stars and the gold Amarula logo embossed on it, but that would make me look silly. It would be like writing the memoirs of a pangolin.

What could possibly be better than the best lantern in the world? The best lantern in the world filled to the brim with Lindt chocolates- that’s what. It was also full of Turtles chocolates, which are vile and horrible and poisoned with nuts, but the beautiful givers of this box didn’t intend them for me. Those yucky little Turtles all the way from Canada are going to mean the world to my mother.

So I’m writing this by the warm, glowy light of my beloved lantern and I’m reminded again just how special the world is. It isn’t how yummy the candy is, how pretty the card is or how kudutastically kudutastic the best lantern in the entire world is- it’s the thought behind it all. It’s that somebody would think of me and specially choose these things and wrap them in silver paper and send them halfway around the world. It’s not a box of stuff, it’s a box of love, sent by people who know exactly what makes me smile.

The real kicker? I’ve never met the couple who sent it to me. I’ve never even heard their voices. It’s so hard to thank someone when only a hug can do it properly. These are ‘internet’ friends, brought into my life along with countless others by a mutual love of all things Africa. I’m so thankful to be alive at a time when close friendships can be born from a few typed words of kindness and encouragement on a computer screen. I could write fifty stories just like this one. I don’t know what else to say. I’m so touched. Love.

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