Wood Chip Eagle

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As we approach the end of the year, let's CELEBRATE!  

It's been a challenging year, but surely you can find SOMETHING to celebrate.

I propose a slightly different way to celebrate.  Let's start with a story. 

When I was fourteen, I reached the pinnacle of Boy Scouts by achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.  I worked hard on passing the requirements and accumulating the necessary merit badges.  I achieved each level from Scout to Tenderfoot to Second Class to First Class to Star to Life to Eagle as fast as possible.  I soared to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

But this story isn't about me and my success.

You see, to achieve that highest rank, my Mom played an integral part.  She encouraged and supported me.  She drove me to merit badge counselors homes and waited as I was tested for knowledge and skills.  She drive me to Boy Scout meetings, Patrol meetings and camping trips.  Sadly, I took her contribution for granted.

When I got home from the Eagle Scout awards ceremony, Mom had a gift waiting for me.  I opened the 20 x 14 inch box and pulled away the tissue paper.  

I gasped.

She made an Eagle out of wood chips!  Each wood chip tacked or glued to the backboard.  Each chip curled as a feather of an Eagle rising in flight.

Mother of four.  Dashing all over town for appointments, practices and meetings.  Making meals.  Doing laundry.  Cleaning the house.  

And here is this beautiful Eagle to celebrate my achievement of making Eagle Scout.  When did she find time to do THIS?

I have the Eagle Scout medal and merit badge sash safely stored.  I value the achievement and occasionally pull them out to remind me of who I've been.  

The Wood Chip Eagle, though, hangs proudly in my office in full view so I can see it every day.  It represents not only my achievement, but my mom's devotion and love.  I can imagine her hands working the small wood chips, the hammer and the glue gun.  The smell of the stain she used to create the magnificent colors.  

So this year as you prepare to celebrate your achievements, step beyond yourself.  Think of someone special.  What was their big achievement for this year?  

My Mom spent an amazing amount of her precious time making the Wood Chip Eagle.  I suppose that's the most precious gift you can give.  Your time.

What could you do to celebrate that person's life milestone?  

Cards, social media likes and loves and emojis are cool, but this AMAZING accomplishment deserves more, right?  What could you do that lasts a lifetime?  Something they will savor forever?

Need some ideas?

  • Write a 3 page hand-written letter
  • Create a music video with pictures describing their journey
  • Draft a poem
  • Create a piece of art

It doesn't have to be magnificent or pretty.  It should come from DEEP within YOU!

By the way, if you've got more creative ideas, let me know!  I'll share them with the Wisdom 4 Humanity community!

So when you celebrate someone's achievements, you celebrate not only their ACHIEVEMENT, you celebrate THEM.  And BONUS!!  You celebrate the unique CONNECTION you share.

Make the gift special and maybe it'll hang in their room for 46 years like my Wood Chip Eagle.  

If you stop by the house, I'll show you the Wood Chip Eagle.  As I show it to you, I might mist up a bit as I think about Mom leaning over the Eagle with her deft hands…

….smiling as she celebrates her youngest son.


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