Thanksgiving Weekend stands on the doorstep bidding me come, enjoy, celebrate, and give thanks for the harvest.
For both the early pioneers and the indigenous tribes, this time of year in North America was one both deepest gratitude and fervent hope. Come wind, come weather the land had yielded her best and barns were full. But would the bounty be enough to sustain life through a winter of unknowns?
I have not known such a tenuous life, none of my family have. Sure we've had our struggles, our lean times, but we've always been able to gather together at Thanksgiving amid an abundance of food, laughter and love - an embarrassment of riches.
I am as humbled as I am grateful for this bounty. I've companioned others whose lives been flipped upside down by a sudden reversal of fortune and I'm now of great enough age to be keenly aware that good living does not grant any immunity from calamity down the road. A winter of unknowns may give warning but never asks permission to visit, let alone stay a while.
Yet today the sun is shining, the world just outside my door is decked out in Autumn splendour, and the cup of my life is overflowing with good things. So I accept the invitation to enjoy, celebrate and give thanks for the harvest.
My heart is full of "Thanks Giving."
©2014 April Hoeller
A Prayer of Gratitude
"We are grateful for eyes that see and ponder, for taste buds that know the sensuous pleasures of eating and drinking, for hands that hold and touch and feel, for ears that can delight in music and the voice of a friend, for a nose that can smell the aroma of newly mown grass or delicious food, and can also breathe the air that gives us life.
We are grateful for the treasure of loved ones whose hearts of openness and acceptance have encouraged us to be who we are. We are grateful for their faithfulness, for standing by us when our weaknesses stood out glaringly, for being there when we were most in need and for delighting with us in our good days and our joyful seasons.
We are grateful for the eyes of faith, for believing in the presence of God, giving us hope in our darkest days, encouraging us to listen to our spirit’s hunger, and reminding us to trust in the blessings of God’s presence in our most empty days.
We are grateful for the ongoing process of becoming who we are, for the seasons within, for the great adventure of life that challenges and comforts us at one and the same time.
We are grateful for the messengers of God - people, events, written or spoke words - that came to us at just the right time and helped us to grow.
We are grateful for God calling us to work with our gifts, grateful that we can be of service and use our talents in a responsible and just way.
We are grateful that we have the basic necessities of life, that we have the means and the ability to hear the cries of the poor and to respond with our abundance."
©1992 Joyce Rupp: May I have this Dance? p. 151