I was going to publish this post on Thanksgiving.
I mean, I really did write it Thanksgiving morning, just past sunrise which I was lucky enough – or crazy enough – to get up to see. But then Thanksgiving things got in the way.
Like, I had a menu to prepare that included really complicated stuff. Like roast turkey. And stuffing, for the inside of the bird. And also dressing, for the outside. Which is weird, because they’re both the same thing, or at least in my house they are.
And of course a salad which this year included that most efficient and, importantly, not contaminated of lettuces – iceberg. Oh, and also pre-packaged dinner rolls that I spent a good thirteen seconds deciding to buy. And of course I was going to make fancy brussels sprouts. Because brussels sprouts should be fancy, don’t you think?
So all of that.
Well, that and also the mouse that I had to deal with. But that’s another story.
I will say, though, that I really tried to be thankful the whole entire day after that mouse incident.
‘Cause you kind of have to, you know?
At any rate, after dealing with all of the stuffing-and-dressing stuff, turkey-and-fancy-brussels-sprouts stuff, and mice-stuff, I did not get a chance to publish this post.
So I decided to do it today.
Because I’m still thankful. For the beauty and the messy and the grace and the days that you survive it all and the people who help you along the way, every day.
Branches bare, dark talons reaching skyward, up, up, up,
A few leaves clinging, still.
Refusing to accept what the evergreens already know, them hunkered down with needles thin.
They’re right ready for the inevitability of it –
cold and wind and winter is here early it seems,
whether or not the oak’s ready.
and somehow right despite the mercury’s plunge.
And it’s always right to give thanks.
Even in bitter cold with work ahead.
Always right and maybe even more than that to just cling to gratitude stubbornly like the old oak’s leaves,
because gratitude can change a life and a heart and a hope.
And this is grace,
For the cold and the wind and the dawn – thanks-giving.
For the beauty and the mess of a life – thanks-giving.
For dishes sure to pile up in sinks and crumbs waiting to be scattered across swept floors – thanks-giving.
For grinning and bearing, and bearing up under it all – thanks-giving.
For remembering that maybe there’s more to this day than just turkey and casseroles. For remembering to hold on tenaciously to gratitude, hunt it down daily and keep on seeking and searching for grace and forgiveness and one more moment and one more chance at it – thanks-giving.
It’s always right, this stubborn clinging to gratitude, refusing to let it go like the leaves that refuse to let go and drop when the temperature does.
Because gratitude can change a life and a heart and a hope, and open the eyes to grace.
And maybe this, just this, can be the doorway to grace –
spread the word:“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” (~Meister Eckhart)
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