Giving And Receiving A Sirsee, A Small, Impromptu Gift…


Last night I learned the most enchanting word from my dear friend Noni. She and I have been getting together for several weeks now to cook together on Saturday nights, to enjoy a meal, visit, maybe dance, listen to Bossanova or other wonderful music, sip a little wine, maybe watch a movie. Last night we played Scrabble and she taught me a new word, sirsee. I am absolutely captivated. And it is so like Noni who herself gives precious little surprise gifts here and there, wonderful finds from thrift shops or wherever she might go, often just leaving them on the doorstep like a fairy leaving love and magic in her wake. I have been the recipient of many lovely things from Noni, perhaps paints or canvases she finds and knows I will like, once the most enchanting seahorses, a favorite oversized cup with the Phoenix on it for my birthday. I have learned so much about kindness and generosity from Noni.

Too, it has opened up a stream of longing and wistfulness inside of me, to be the giver of sirsee, small, inexpensive gifts that are surprises coming perhaps just at the right time when the recipient needs a lift, or remembering a birthday when others may forget, or just adding to the occasion. Life is so full of so many things that are so hard, the days can be brutal at times. Imagine receiving a sirsee just at the moment you thought you could bear no more.

And further, it has made me feel very tenderly toward the south. For all that might be said about it there is a slow, gentleness here. I did not grow up in the south but I moved here when I was 26 years old, then to Virginia, and to North Carolina 11 years later. I have been in North Carolina since 1992 so I have spent more of my life in the south than in the midwest where I grew up. I am now 62 and I will spend the rest of my life here, something I never really considered in years past but wherever you go there you are and I am here, by choice, by chance, by circumstance.

I am at the point in my life where I am making decisions about the rest of my life, how I will live it, what I will be doing, and whom I will be doing it with. I turned a corner somehow when I invited Noni to join me one Saturday night several weeks ago to make dinner. As we were finishing I said, “This was so much fun I could do this every week,” and to my delight Noni countered with, “Let’s!” And so we have. It makes me realize that I want to spend my time with people that I care about and cherish, people that I love and admire, people that I want to help and to learn from, people to whom I can give my own sirsee, my own gifts, and offer them all the unexpected magic I can muster. When we give sirsee we change the tides of the person’s life, even if just for those few moments. We can make a lasting change with a small gift. I want my writing and teaching to be just that. How shall I begin?

I am working now at gathering to my heart all the bits and pieces that I can put together to make a class that will touch women’s hearts, women beyond the meridian of midlife, (though younger women are welcome, this will be my focus), women who are approaching or celebrating the golden years when our gifts of a lifetime are the most potent and sure, when we have lived, walked, and cultivated the gifts that we have to give for decades. The recipients of many sirsees we can now be the bearers of gifts. It is a time of giving back, and I look so forward to it. I see it as a time of gathering riches and spreading them around, fertile ground for growing love in every direction.

As I go through books and memories to the things I have learned over four plus decades as a writer and teacher of journal writing classes I am amazed at how much time has passed, how swiftly it has flown, and what I want to do is to slow down time by taking this moment, this very moment, one moment at a time. I have no idea how long I will be on the planet but I have control over the moments that I do have here and I want to cherish them. Can I teach others to do the same? Will sirsees pop up everywhere when we slow down enough to really see, feel, and experience them? I think more often than we realize they are offered to us and we simply are not present enough to receive them. They may not come in a box but perhaps from a heart reaching out to ours. I, myself, want to be awake enough to receive them. I want others to be awake as well.

So in the time ahead I will investigate the best ways to shape this work I want to do. I will gather small gifts to give to people when the time is right. Sometimes it may be a word or a hug, I think a sirsee can take many forms. Tonight this post is my sirsee to you, full of love, sending you blessings and wishing for the best of everything for you in the days ahead. I hope you will accept the gift, from my heart, to yours. Bless you dearheart…

Warm Regards and Deepest Blessings To All,


If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Paula Brown says:

    Oh Maitri, I so can relate to the desire to share of ourselves to the people we love and even more precious to total strangers. I am so enjoying my sewing students. I do not have many and I don’t want to make it a full time “job” but the sharing, especially with adults. I am now teaching the sweetest young woman and we’ve become quite close. I do love that I have something special to share – passed down from my sweet mom. Maitri, you do have so much to pass along. Your heart is just bursting with love for your fellow creatures, human or beast. You warm our hearts so. Thank you for your sirsees. I can almost feel a peck on the cheek that would accompany your sweet little gift. I’m so glad to be a part of your sister pack.

    • Thank you so much Paula honey, and I know what a gift you are to your students. I do send you love and a sweet kiss on the cheek and hope for you a beautiful week ahead.

      Blessings to you dearheart…


  2. We had friends over Fri night. Had pizza for dinner that I had bought earlier in the day, not knowing we would be entertaining. They came over about 7pm and until almost 11pm. We sat in the living room pulingl up and playing “Old song favorites” and “One hit wonders” on iTunes and Utube! Laughing, dancing and trying to “Out do” each other! While singing badly and having a blast. We decided this would be our Fri Ritual ! HUGS and Sirsee’s to Yuo My Friend!

    • Ah how wonderful Carolann, these rituals are such blessings and joys in our lives, I’m so happy for you, it sounds like you had a wonderful time! Keep it up and enjoy! It will pay many dividends in your life…



  3. I have always loved your energy and loved the way you paint your world. Your words and wisdom have always been my sirsee from you. It was a joy reading this tonight.

    • Mermie Lovie, thank you so much…

      You are so kind and your sweet words mean the world to me, I’m glad this piece meant something to you. It was a joy indeed to hear from you…

      Blessings and Love,


  4. Here we go again…things we have in common! My dad was in the Air Force, so we traveled all over, but we were in Alabama when he retired. We stayed for about a year and then decided to move and ended up in San Diego. After three years there, we moved back to Alabama and so three quarters of my life (I’m 63…as of about a week ago) has been spent here in Alabama. And I too will live out the rest of my days here. And yes, the South has it’s oddities (but then doesn’t every part of the country?) but it also has many good things about it.
    I think you would offer a wonderful course and I hope you follow through on it. I envy you your special nights with your very special friend…she sounds like an angel. Huge hugs to you Maitri. <3

    • Greetings Dear Sheila and Belated Happy Birthday!

      We do indeed have so many things in common. I never imagined I would end up in the south and did so because of my husband’s job. We never wanted to stay here but finally when you’ve been some place a long time it becomes home. Now that I’m alone I wouldn’t want to take off for some place where I don’t know anyone so here I am, and I have grown to like living here, and one must bloom where they are planted in any case. Thank you for you encouragement about a course and yes Noni is an angel, she truly is.

      Take care dearheart…


  5. Dear Maitri, your love and caring come through in every word. I love both the sentiment of and the word sirsee and its variants. My Soul Messages in Your Inbox are my little gift to the world at large. I’ve found that they are the perfect message for whomever chooses to receive them, and in return I am blessed with a happy heart whenever someone shares with how they have helped, healed and delighted. To the lovely sisterhood reading this blog I make this offering:

    • Thank you so much Phyllis, you are very kind, and I am enjoying your messages, they are truly lovely. Thank you for sharing honey…



  6. How beautiful and generous-hearted. Noni’s weekly visits are a blessing, not only to you but to all of us who love you.

    • Dear Cathryn, thank you so much, and yes Noni’s visits are indeed blessings in my life. I’m glad the blessings spread out into the world. Our joy is pure and meant to be shared…

      I send you love and a sweet, warm hug…


  7. Sirsee, What a beautiful word indeed! Your writing, your groups, courses and mentoring have all been great gifts to me. Always coming at a time when they are so desperately needed. You are such a blessing to all who know and love you! I’m so happy for you and Noni and your delightful evenings together..What a joy!
    Sending you so much love and big, warm hugs! Donna ?????

    • Thank you dear Donna, your kind words mean the world to me and knowing that my work has meant something to you really means a lot. And yes my evenings with Noni are truly a joy and a delight. 🙂

      I’m sending you lots of love and a gentle warm hug…


  8. I am so happy that you and Noni are bringing joy into each others lives.
    Dance like nobody’s watching!

    • Thank you so much Frances, you are very dear. Tonight Noni and I cook together and we have invited another friend to join us. Share the love, share the joy, and YES! Dance like nobody’s watching! 😀

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