I can’t remember a Thanksgiving that I’ve greeted with as much joyful gratitude as I do this one.
There have been happy Thanksgivings, hopeful Thanksgivings, and always, always many things to be thankful for, but this year is so different on every level. I feel like I’ve been lifted out of a dark, tangled mire of pointless struggle and set in a warm sunshiny place where life is peaceful and beautiful and shining with happy possibilities. That heady sense of a wide-open future…how long has it been since I’ve felt real pleasure at the thought of whatever may lie ahead? I can’t even remember. I’m an optimist by nature, but it’s been a long time since life has felt like the grand adventure it should be. Now it feels that way again.
So very much to be thankful for right now. First and foremost, for God’s infinite love and grace. There were moments in the past eight months when my own reserves of strength and courage ran completely dry, and the only thing that got me through was prayer. I have felt His comfort and guidance and providence so vividly through all of this, and my gratitude is boundless.
I’m so thankful for Luke and Elizabeth. They are the cure for loneliness, the antidote to self-pity, the opposite of dreariness. They keep me from getting lost in my own head for too long, and their laughter and creativity fill our house with life and light.
I am thankful for my home. Especially in light of the current economic meltdown, with people losing their homes and their jobs and their pensions all over the place, I am so incredibly grateful to be in this place of relative security that allows me time and space to parent my children and grow healthful food and enjoy the quiet beauty of nature. This is such an enormous blessing.
I am thankful to all the people who have offered their friendship, their company, or even just an exchange of stories for the span of one conversation in a supermarket. In the first dark days of the separation my need to verbalize my pain and confusion was almost desperately compulsive, and I’m so grateful to all the kind and patient souls who understood and listened and advised and bore with me while I struggled to make sense of it all.
I’m very thankful to the people, some of whom I barely know, who have brought me firewood simply because they heard that I needed it. What an incredible feeling of being part of a caring community.
I’m thankful for the half-a-steer that came to my freezer last Sunday. And I’m thankful for this week’s rain, which makes it possible for me to continue to raise my own beef for that much longer. I could never afford to buy hay for my half of the herd; if the pasture goes my cows will have to go too. So I thank God for every drop of rain that falls.
I’m thankful for Mrs. Mouthy’s Pear & Gorgonzola Pizza recipe, which I just tried for the first time last week and it was crazy good and Elizabeth had three slices for supper and two more for breakfast and she doesn’t even normally LIKE pizza, and I think that’s the only kind I’m ever going to make again.
I’m thankful for…um…this year’s amazing bumper crop of pinecones. They’re so pretty and they make the best kindling.
I could go on, but I’ll stop now. Happy Love Thursday everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving, and may the spirit of thankfulness remain in all our hearts long after the last of the turkey and cranberries are gone.