New Year’s surprise: Paris, France, c2006

Each New Year’s, a small gift from Paris would arrive at my home with a surprise inside.  The gift was sent from an architect, the mother of a close friend, and was always a small object of no particular material value that appeared quite simple at first but would reveal, in some way, her wished for emotion for the year ahead: joy or pleasure or hope.  The precise year of receipt of this box has been forgotten but it must have been around 2006.  The lid reads “ouvrez, appuyez, attendez…” — open, press, wait — and inside was a toy insect with spring legs and a suction cup on the underside: press it to a smooth counter top and, after an unpredictable delay as the suction released, it would leap into the air.  The year that followed was a good one but sadness followed and the woman who sent it passed away unexpectedly in 2009.

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