The feast has
been consumed. Family members have gone back to their regular lives. There is virtually no remaining trace of the day devoted to THANKFULNESS. ...except perhaps
those leftovers that we are bound to discover moldering in the back of the
fridge at some future date.
The month of mindful thankfulness is
coming to an end. All too soon something new will threaten to consume our every
thought... All those “#thankfulthursday” posts will be replaced by an
ever-growing “to-do” lists.
For many it will be intense holiday
preparations. Around here, it is more likely to be garden planning or lambing
season. But, it is so easy for something, anything, to distract us from looking
around with grateful eyes.
Personally, I am hoping to keep
looking through that lens of gratitude. For there is always something to be
Lately, I’ve returned to work on the “story of
the hill” which demands a fair amount of reminiscing. Looking back is an
eye-opening and sometimes painful experience where every story reveals yet
another reason to give thanks.
That first Thanksgiving here on the hill
was less than stellar. First one member fell victim to a stomach bug. Before
too long the entire family was suffering. We were in no shape for celebrating.
When I had called my own mother to inform her of the sickness, she hung up on
me in a fit of puerile petulance. The rest of the family and friends “back
home” were either unaware or unconcerned with our predicament. Our new friends
in the Valley were busy with their own family obligations. There would be no
celebration of thankfulness. There was no feast. To say it was a lonely, miserable event would be an
But, we were together. There was food on the table (for those of us up to the task of eating) We were safe
and warm in our little home on the hill. We had weathered a frightening,
overwhelming upheaval of our lives and we had survived.
We learned lessons and became good at
growing food on this small piece of earth. We schooled ourselves in sales and
found our niche at the Farmers’ Market. The
daughters grew, crops flourished, and sales increased...
Life was good.
As time went on, we began to take
many of those things for granted. Particularly the togetherness. It was simply a given
that on Thanksgiving we would all be here…together.
By now our daughters were responsible
grown-ups with families of their own. The gardens, the market, the overall
success of the farm seemed a sure thing. And, while Thanksgiving was still a
time for familial togetherness, we may have glossed over the aspect of
gratitude that should permeate the celebration.
The past year has been filled with
all sorts of drama and trauma, a scary diagnosis, two rather unexpected major
surgeries, disappointing crops and lagging sales. Not an outstanding year by
any stretch of the imagination.
For a while, I couldn’t even try to picture the holiday. I was afraid to consider the possibilities...
But, once again...we were together. There was LOTS of food on the table. We were safe and warm in our little home on the hill.
We have weathered another
frightening, overwhelming upheaval in our lives.