November 21, 2011

A Season of Thanks

My soft, warm cat lies on my feet, keeping close and warm as I write. I snuggle under a blanket, as the chill of November has found its way into my bones. I am thankful for feeling the warmth, and I wonder about those who are out in the cold with nowhere to go. 

When I finally turn out the light, and snuggle further down into the covers with my pillows, I thank God for my warm bed and the roof over my head, and I say a fervent prayer for those who must sleep out in the cold.

How many times each day do we turn on the faucet expecting the clear, fresh water we need for washing, cooking and cleaning? Hot running water pours out of the tap, and the cold water is fresh from our well and ready to drink.

I am thankful for the water from the faucet, as I remember a time with a houseful of young children when we turned on the tap and no water came out. Thousands of dollars later, after replacing the well pump and pressure tank, we could once again turn on the faucets. Giddy, I went from sink to sink, room to room, turning on the faucets, only to see brown, murky water pour out as all the lines needed to be flushed. How thankful we were when the water ran clear and good again.

There have been times when we were without electricity. That means no water either, when you are on a well with an electric pump. When the power is out, how quickly we realize what we take for granted as we automatically reach for the light switch even though we know there is no power. When the power is restored, we are grateful for the convenience of refrigeration and a stove to cook on.

As we prepare for our Thanksgiving feast, I marvel at the food choices we have before us. As I come home laden with packages from the grocery store, I thank God that we have the means to buy food to celebrate with family and friends through a feast of thankfulness. 

I prepare an enormous turkey that gave its life for our feast.  As I mix ingredients for the wide variety of side dishes we enjoy, my boys help with peeling potatoes and smashing cranberries. And I smile at these young men grown from boys who used to be so much smaller than me. And I am thankful in my heart for the gift of having them in my life.

We sit down to eat at our table loaded with an abundance of food, and we hold hands in a large circle as we share our thanks through saying grace. It is a moment special to each of us, to be together to share this meal, and to share time with each other. Everyone feasts, enjoying the plentifulness of foods and the company of loved ones.

There will be an empty place at our table this year. A dear friend who was family to us has left this world for what lies beyond. I know many of you may have an empty chair, too. The sadness we feel in our loss is immeasurable, yet life abounds around us and we move forward with each and every day.

Knowing the transience of our life on earth, we share in a feeling of gratitude for the time we get to spend together. We must cherish one another; love each other for our goodness and our faults. Each of us has a special part to play in the lives of those around us.

We are all connected. Together, we make a greater good. Let it be so.

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