On Thanksgiving Eve we wrote gratitude lists, counted gifts, filled paper to the edges then taped our thanks to the kitchen wall.
This special November Thursday has become a favorite at our house.
Come morning, Doug is stirring the filling for his grandmother’s no bake pumpkin pie on the stove. Our children are watching the Rockettes kick in perfect unison at the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade on NBC. And I am about to begin my grandmother’s recipe for turkey dressing.
I ran the icy streets this morning before sun-up. Grateful for gloves, a fleece hat, and a healthy body.
Run alone and you notice so much. The sound of your breath, the way your elbows glide past your ribs, branches bent to the earth under the weight of snow, the crunch of crystalline tire tread underfoot.
And I smelled the most wonderful smells. Apples mingled with cinnamon on Naniloa Drive. Pancakes and bacon at the bottom of the swell on Wander. The scent of an outdoor world, crisped in white, so subtle it barely smelled at all.
And I listened. To the sound of someone’s alarm clock through a cracked apartment window. The scrape of sleds as two small girls in pink and purple snow gear slid down their driveway. The shifting of my thoughts.
Images of my mother and father, sharing a quiet day together, just the two of them. Thoughts of Jesus and his endless love, his grace, his enabling power to see us through all things difficult. Gratitude for Doug, that his labors will fill our table with food, and pay for Wednesday’s shopping trip to Old Navy.
My children. How Liza is looking like sixteen, and when we laugh together, it carries me for hours. The tender sentiments of my twin girls, their love notes on my pillow. And my boys, how their kisses smack my cheek before bed and I can’t help but hug them long.
I think of those guests at the Food Bank, waiting in line for turkeys, and juice, and pantry staples. Of the family at Target, with young children, that sat along the parking curb. A single sign requesting money, food, or work. So much need. So much abundance. In the same city, same day, same moment.
It is nothing profound. All this thinking, hearing, smelling, listening, and seeing. And yet these are my treasures. What I know. What I’ve been given. What I have to give.
And as Thornton Wilder wrote in one of his plays, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
We feel fortunate, don’t we, when we have the capacity to appreciate again and again, the basic gifts of existence? See them anew, and fresh, as if for the very first time? Gratitude moves us out of our little selves and into the larger world. Out of our comfort and into places of need.
Happy Thanksgiving dear Segullah readers and friends. We are thankful for you.
May you hear, smell, see, feel, and share the many treasures in your life.