Thanksgiving Day is a unique part of our heritage. I once tried to explain the holiday to a Japanese friend who looked puzzled. “But aren’t you thankful every day?” she asked. “For your life, for your family, for each season …”
She’s right, of course. Beside the all-important gifts of family and friendships that enrich us in so many ways, there are wonders throughout the year.
I’m thankful in springtime when grim old winter looses its hold, when birds build their nests and cautious green shoots poke their heads out of their winter beds. In spring, inspiration is rampant, and I think… yes! This year I will write the story that has been bothering me for months. I will revise the novel I started two years ago. And there’s that mountain of fabric I bought and stored—somewhere. In spring I’m glad for energy and ambition which swell together with the fat buds on the trees.
Along with spring warmth
hope begins to stir and grow
like budding flowers.
Summer is no slouch, either. When spring green morphs into jade and emerald, and the sun is set on high, I tend to leave the story undone and toss aside the unfinished novel. I forget about finding that misplaced fabric and go outside to marvel at hummingbirds feeding from the honey-cups of flowers. Dahlias, hollyhocks, roses all bloom with colors that dazzle the senses—and then comes the Fourth of July with its fireworks. How could I not feel grateful? And, look, here is the ocean splashing waves onto the beach, and the sea-gulls calling, and nests of sea turtle eggs waiting to be born. If spring beings inspiration, summer’s hands are teeming with life.
Headache slides away
With the gentle splash of waves
Cooling these hot feet.
And here comes autumn. With arms full of cooler nights, it cranks up the chorus of insects and peepers and spreads magic amongst the leaves. Autumn calls up a harvest moon, not pale or silver but big and full, a great, golden circle of honey. When I draw in a deep breath, I swear moonlight tastes sweet.
So close, Golden Moon…
You seem to skim top of trees
On tonight’s journey.
Thanksgiving happens in autumn, which makes the season richer still, but not long afterward comes Old Man Winter with frosty breath that teases the poor, naked trees. Ice and snow and freezing rain are winter’s gifts, but I’m grateful for a warm house, food that warms the body, and family to love. Thinking of those who have none of these things and of the birds fluffing up their feathers against the cold, I gather cans of food for the food pantry and fill the bird feeders. Then, standing on the doorstep, I watch the pale sun painting the sky with crimson glory, and I sit down once more at the computer to dream and write. In this season when the cold earth rests, inspiration can flow again, and once more I hope to write that story, finish the novel… and find that fabric!
Walking in the snow…
Feet are tingling with the cold
But the heart feels warm.