Thanksgiving is over.
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 thankful for...always.
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 understatement.
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.
And, we have survived.
This is nothing to take for granted.
…and I am grateful.