Every night we are home for dinner it looks like this:
we have a flurry of activity getting dinner ready, drinks poured, placemats + napkins + silverware on the table, overhead lights dimmed, candles lit, everyone warm or cool enough, the dog in her crate, and then we sit.
And as much as we are usually ready to dive on the food like a pack of wild dogs, we pause, we reach for each other’s hands, and we give thanks.
Okay, usually I’m the one doing the talking – for all of us – and sometimes Ed or Kristina chime in with their own things they are grateful for.
We give thanks for the big things – our health, our home, each other.
We give thanks for the little things – a test passed, an uneventful commute home, sunshine.
(I say “little things” because these are not so much the things we will remember of this day in a year or two or ten.)
We also give thanks for funny little random things: ugly dolls (cheer up a day), moss (doesn’t have to be mowed), happy pigs (because we love us some bacon), and fart jokes (yes, I have given thanks for those).
A long time ago, I read a novel with a cantankerous porch-sitting character. He was complaining about the state of the world, and the general worthlessness of the younger generation, and the waste of the future and how rare common sense was.
A teenager sitting on the step made the mistake of trying to take his leave by saying, “Well, okay Grampa, thanks, I’ll be go–”
He did not get to finish.
“THANKS?!?!?!” Grampa roared. “THANKS?!?!? Son, we give thanks. We say, thank you. Do you hear me?”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.” With that, the grandson scuttled off the porch while Grampa muttered some more.
I took it to heart.
We say thank you. We give thanks.
It really makes a difference.
Today, I give thanks for so many things:
- my husband’s love and the mystery of us finding each other
- the gift of my daughter and how much I learn with her
- my parents, most especially for giving me my brother and sisters
- my husband’s family, for welcoming Kristina and me as their own
- Kaylah, best-dog-ever, who shares loyalty, humour, love, and companionship every day
- the warm, dry, house where we make our home
- organic farmers, who work so passionately to bring healthy food to market
- the volunteers everywhere who strive simply to make the world a better place
- everyone who speaks against injustice, calling out the bullies on every stage
- that any ill in the world is vastly outweighed by kindness and compassion
- my readers, who turn what I write here into a conversation with your comments and support
Even if you do not celebrate (American) Thanksgiving, I wish you some time today to give thanks, to feel grateful. It makes everything better.