What is the blessing that most inspires your gratitude this year and in what does it teach you about your ability to co-create a more awakened society?
Thanksgiving - the one American holiday which arches over all belief systems, cultures, generations and serves to connect us all across the nation. Families and friends join together to share a meal and simply remember how blessed we are.
As I think about this Thanksgiving, I can reflect on a very long list of things for which I am grateful, beginning with the fact that i’m still around to celebrate another one. The family is gathering at our home, as it has for many years, and we’ll all enjoy getting together, having the same menu and laughing about some silly memory we have of one another. Every year we each share something we are grateful for before we sit down to feast.
I’m always grateful for life, my good health, my dear husband, my family, friends, home, and way of life. This year I’m grateful for having spent six months living on Kauai with Don, and enjoying the slower pace and beauty of “God’s Garden Isle.”
With all of that said, I am grateful for something deeper, even though it has not been wrapped in a pretty package. This past year has brought so many natural and human disasters. The velocity of their arrival has not left sufficient time to process them as they just keep showing up. So many human lives have been affected. The toll has been overwhelming. The effects of political actions have caused extensive upset - fomenting anger, bringing out the worst in some, and the best in others. How can I say I am grateful for this? I am not grateful for the damage that has been caused by all of this. but here is what I am grateful for —
The human heart - I’m grateful for the actions of so many who have shown up to lift others out of life-threatening conditions, many times at their own peril. For the generosity from so many when one appeal for financial support cascades after another like waterfalls. For doors opened to total strangers, offering shelter. For beloved pets rescued and brought to safety. For the ones who stay to listen, console and pray with those who have faced such utter loss.
The human will - I’m grateful for those who are standing up in the face of hate, despotism, bullying, abuse, harassment, and misguided power. For witnessing the powerful acts of speaking up when remaining silent would be so much safer.
The human hands - who have carried people and animals to safety, who have put out the fires, who have brought food and water to the hungry and thirsty, who have stopped the violence, who have dug through rubble with bare hands to free others, who have treated the wounded, buried the dead, held the frightened children and have put themselves in harm’s way to care for a stranger.
I am grateful for the human spirit. It is the expression of a consciousness which rises higher when faced with danger, opens wider when standing before devastation, and says “yes” to reaching out to touch another’s life. It is driven by a power greater than we are - even when one has no name for it. it is the gift of being fully human because only then can we be fully divine.
For this I give thanks.