Sunday, November 20, 2011


Tis that time of year again. That uniquely American holiday is upon us.  Thanksgiving.  The stores are filled with holiday cooking items and even Christmas trees adorn the entrances.  We are in full fledged holiday mode.

Waking early this morning, I found myself reflecting on the rapidly approaching holiday season.  As I sat on the back porch, sipping my favorite coffee blend, I thought about Thanksgiving.

We are taught as children that the first Thanksgiving was shared between those brave Pilgrims and the native Indians.  We saw in our elementary school textbooks pictures of a feast and really nothing more.  People sitting around a table, eating and sharing time together.  Of course back at that first Thanksgiving, it was an effort to build a cooperative between two cultures.  It was a leap of faith and a token gesture wrapped with the hope of survival.

Today, we are bombarded with "how tos" and "you shoulds" and "having the perfect meal" notions.  There is stress in the holidays.  I rather like the idea that as long as you are gathered around a table with those you love and care about, it is already the perfect meal.

As we gather around the feasting table on Thursday to celebrate yet another Thanksgiving, we do indeed have much to be thankful for.  Thankful that all the chairs are filled with family we love and adore.  Thankful there are no empty chairs this year and no losses that come to steal the day.  Thankful for the food before us and the effort that went into its preparation.  Thankful for the comfort of a home filled with love and laughter.  Thankful for the children that give promise to many more Thanksgivings to come.  Thankful for yet another opportunity to hold a hand and feel the touch of family.

Personally, my gratitude is boundless.  In this year of extraordinary drought and fires, one can only look to the many blessings we enjoy every day.  The sublime cup of coffee in the morning, the quiet of the house before everyone awakes, the sunrise giving light to yet another day and so much more.  I am eternally grateful that little Max, the lost kitten, has found a permanent home and a family to call his own.  I am grateful for yet another day to gaze upon my children and grandchildren, to hear their voices and to know the day is filled with  promise.  Come good or bad, it is another day, a blessing denied many.

Too bad we are only reflective of our gratitude during the holidays.  Too bad our hard days throughout the year are wished away as quickly as the tick of a clock.  Too bad we don't take more time to be thankful.

Perhaps if we did take time to reflect each day, those hard days would seem less harsh, the demands of life less heavy and the moments of our lives more rich.  It reminds me of a question I came across not long ago.

"What if you woke up this morning with only the things you thanked God for last night?"

I try to remember this "what if" daily.  I don't need a gratitude journal, I simply need a few moments to reflect, to appreciate and to be thankful. It doesn't take long and its far too simple yet we struggle to manage to remember one final task each day.

So to each and every one of you, I wish you time.  Time to be still and quiet.  Time to hear your own personal  thoughts and time to feel your life with your heart.  I wish you gentle peace and patience and joy.

Have a tender Thanksgiving and a holiday season filled with time.

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