"In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks."
John Muir

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thankful Heart

Thanksgiving Day.
Family china, old recipes, loved ones,
turkey and gravy.
Laughter, conversations, aprons, steaming potatoes.
My grown children could each share a different memory of our New York Thanksgivings.  
One daughter just told me she recalled her annual task of polishing the silver that would be used later in the day.  
But it's not the silver serving pieces that live on, specifically.
It is the intangible polishing memory that survives.

I guess I am getting old and more melancholy than ever,
but I would love to gather all my chicks under my wings todayof all days.  
Watch the adult siblings interact (and argue, most likely).
Reunite with the dear friends and family members that no longer walk this earth.
Pause a moment from the kitchen preparations
to sit (SIT?!) and listen to them talk, even ramble.
I didn't do enough of that.
I was always the Martha, resenting that Jesus rebuked me and praised Mary.
That seemed unfair in the past.
But today I would willingly play the role of Mary to smile at my Dad, my grandmother, 
my mother- and father-in-law.
Even the numerous friends that once joined our
Thanksgiving feasts of years gone by.

I have SO MUCH to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
Just flip back to all the wandering thoughts in my previous blogposts 
and you will see what matters to me.
But so much of that could be stripped away in a breath.
And strife and misunderstandings mar relationships.
My dad, in his wisdom, repeated these solemn words,
"Life is not a Norman Rockwell painting."
Meaning we all don't sit smiling around the golden turkey 
being served by a rested and happy mother.

The bottom line is that life, even in its best dress, is lacking.
Yet wonderful, all the same.
The only constant that I can truly count on is my God, my Creator.
He cares for me and each of us.
And that deserves my giving thanks to Him.

"Let the name of the LORD be praised,
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the LORD is to be praised."
Psalm 113

The same mighty poet king also penned,
"Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem"
(or in this photo, Alaska)
"so the LORD surrounds his people
both now and forevermore." (Psalm 125)

The shortest chapter in the Bible is the middle chapter 
which happens to be Psalm 117:
"Praise the LORD, all you nations;
extol him, all you peoples,
For great is his love toward us,
and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever."
And so, as I try to wrap up my mental meanderings,
I am so thankful that I can look ahead to each moment of each day with a confidence that doesn't come from within me and my abilities,
nor of those I love.
God's faithfulness sustains me today, fills in the gaps I have missed in all of my past intentions 
and carries me into my tomorrows.

"Your word, O LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you established the earth, and it endures."
Psalm 119

1 comment:

  1. I love your thoughts and I agree with them all. Tis the season of Thanksgiving into Christmas that makes us desire to come close once again. As I carry on my childhood traditions into the family of my own I smile because even if I am not with all the people I love in person they live on through what we do and the memories we make. Love you.