A Thanksgiving Walk



Breezy, today. Under a clear blue sky the leaves are flying. Like small gold and russet ships they launch themselves away from their parent tree and sail bravely into the wind. I watch them dance and swirl, eddy and float before coming to rest at last on the ground.

Thanksgiving is a day to offer thanks. So many things I am always grateful for, huge things like family and love and friendships. These are the bedrock of my life. Other things, though, slide by without proper notice, and Thanksgiving is a good time to give them their due. So, I am thankful for the leaves. Not just for their beauty, though that alone is enough, but for a lesson in courage.  To take that leap into the unknown, to defy gravity and all its power takes a moxie that we all need in life, a faith in our own ability and a joyous certainty that the future is ours to shape.

What would we do without thatcertainty? I know, surely, that I would never have taken risks or faced challenges with little more than spine to back me up. Now a still-gold leaf settles in my hair, perhaps tired of its dance with the wind and ready for a new adventure. I listen to the music the wind makes as I walk and give thanks for all music— music that touches the heart, stately chords to lift the soul, and, naturally, music for dancing. Rumbas and Tangos and waltzes that swirl and glide… oh, surely, I am grateful for music.

A squirrel scampers past, chittering at its companion who is scurrying  off with prized acorns. So comical are they that I laugh and realize that here is another thing to be grateful for. Laughter—I shudder to think what the world would be without it. Solemn people whispering tonelessly to each other? Horrible! A world without a child’s breathless squeal of joy? Unthinkable! And how about that old black-and-white movie that had us in stitches?

In a shadowed world

            Shared laughter is a gift…

            Sunlight to the heart.

The sky has suddenly darkened, and I look up to watch a cloud cover the sun. I understand the science of clouds, but even so they seem far off and mysterious. And beyond the clouds, beyond our atmosphere lie space and the mystery of space. When I gaze up at the night sky I think of the amazing photographs that have been taken of galaxies I will never see… photographs of gigantic suns made of flame and fire, so hot that no one will ever investigate them— or worlds that have burned down to the core and have turned into a sphere of diamonds! Wonderful indeed it is to know that there is something magnificent but unobtainable. Just as Browning wrote, “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp… or what’s a heaven for?”  I dream of  solar systems which orbit two suns, of nebulae far, far away which may host a world teeming with life, picture green skies over purple fields or a silent orb around which circle not one but three great moons…. I will never see these things, but they may indeed be there….somewhere.    There
is a chirp nearby and here is a chickadee perching on a nearby branch and getting ready to sing his morning song. He looks self satisfied and important and as he puffs out his little chest I can see that everything in his world is as good and as it can be.

And for that, too, I am more thankful than words can say!

We all join our hands

            As we move through the measures

            Of the dance of life.




About Maureen C. Wartski

I’m Maureen Wartski, writer, artist, wife, mother, grandmother; you can see that I have many of the bases covered. I was born in Ashiya, Japan, a (then) small town which lay cradled between sea and mountains. In the evenings, we would walk along the road that ran past Osaka Bay, and a great moon would rise out of the water to turn the world to silver. I’m told that my first words were, “Big moon!” All my life I have felt the tug to write something, draw something, put together something with fabric, string and color, and the urge to create has grown through the years. I suppose, then, that it’s a natural thing that this blog be full of the things that so many of you enjoy doing…drawing, making something with fabric, and writing. Yuri's Brush with Magic, my newest book for middle schoolers follows the adventures of a brother and sister, the magic of words, and the incredible magic of the natural world. I'd love to hear from you! You can send me a note at: maureen@wartski.org/ My blog is here: https://maureenwartski.wordpress.com/ Or friend me on Facebook!

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