I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. Henry David Thoreau
I wonder about first moments, those spilt second flashes when emotion fires up the heart and shoots out like stars. And everything changes. There must have been the first moments in Plymouth Colony, prior to the three day gathering, when gratitude swelled. Maybe it was a woman explaining to her son about thankfulness. And maybe it was a child who thought of a dinner to give thanks.
Survival in the Distance
They endured so much. Hunger. Disease. Distance from the homeland.
They arrived to the new world weakened from the stormy Atlantic crossing to be greeted by a fierce winter that took even more lives. But winter thawed into spring and they adapted. Squanto, an English speaking Wampanoag man came to live with the colonists. Together they worked side by side, planting corn and other native plants that evolved into a autumn harvest worthly of celebration. It was a three day feast. But it began in a moment–a moment of gratitude, of thankfulness and it became a moment for the ages.
Moments to Cherish
I think of how significant moments are. We have so many that are endearing that we forget their power. They might arrive in a whisper, barely heard, yet meaningful enough to take hold, then break free, fly open and finally to soar. It only took a moment for me to look at Don to know that I loved him. It only took a moment to fall in love with my baby daughter and to know that forevermore my heart beats with hers.
There are sad moments as well. This might be a heartwrenching Thanksgiving. Many of us will be distancing this year. Heeding the warnings from the experts, I too, will not be with my daughter and three grandchildren this Thanskgiving. Like the pilgrims, we are facing issues of survival and distance. A gathering will take place without me. But I will have my moment. A beautiful moment. The phone will ring and I will hear words of love, and the power of that moment will be enough to fill a lifetime.
“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” Henry David Thoreau