Stories. Told, living and breathing in my memory, to be told. Their telling. The life and humor and insight and pain and growth and ridiculous and sublime they embody. Stories told casually, explosively, almost ineffectively. Told carefully, ritualistically, familiarly. I'm grateful for how much my dad loved telling stories, how many he told, and how often and freely and confidently and joyfully he told them. I undertake to listen for and to more stories.
Patience. And many other super-natural gifts of fruit I sometimes taste and people often give to me.
Food. I enjoy it. I don't lack for it.
Movement. I am rarely stuck, though sometimes I am, and then I like moving along even more. (Maybe next year I'll learn to be grateful for seasons of stillness.)
My vacuum. You should see it fill up with cat hair! What accomplishment it helps me feel! And, it's green.
The color green. And green food! (The kind that is meant to be green when it's eaten - not green too early, and certainly not green too late.)
Friends and family who embrace tradition and ritual before and more than me. Sometimes it helps to remind me in new ways of the blessings of old ways. As long as they're a little flexible.
Carrying each other's burdens
As I think about my friends right now experiencing loss and grief, and some newness of life, I am grateful, again, for these reflections (linked above) from my boss this season:
And I hope I can discover, in the fortitude of others, ways of giving thanks in times of grief. Gratitude without blindness to others' sorrow. Unlike some colleagues at Westmont--and so many persons in the world--I enter this Thanksgiving with a home, without great deprivations. My life is blessed. But each year all of us can count some losses. There will be no Thanksgiving call this month from my father, given his dementia, the scorched neurology of age. But there are plenty of images in my mind of our Thanksgiving leaves, fully raked, only to be scattered by impromptu football games in our family's backyard. The psalmist would find in such irretrievable moments a glimpse of something eternal, something equally lost and luminous. More and more I see God's grace in the architecture of hope and memory.The fortitude of others. The architecture of hope and memory.