One morning this week I had students share what they were thankful for (an unsurprising choice for a morning message activity). As students wrote and then shared their responses, I took note of the fact that not a single one had anything to do with material possessions (which may surprise those who think this young generation is going to hell-in-a-handbasket). Though in our conversation we could all acknowledge that we loved our iPads and lego sets and other “things”….when the moment came to identify what we were truly grateful for: every single one of us chose PEOPLE. Connections with others make the world go round. They move us, they break us, they weigh us down, they light us up. We are meant to care for others in community. I am thankful for those whose lives have touched mine. Happy Thanksgiving, all.

A day set apart from the many each year
to draw us towards our dreams more near.
We pause and choose each moment that
makes us more aware of the place we’re at.

We love, we live, our thanks we share.
We give, adore, made ever keenly aware
on a day when we can hold most dear
the ones we love, instead of the worst we fear,
our reality, instead of what might have been,
our life, instead of the never when.

It’s the times when life throws a hit you miss,
when you have to laugh at the ironic twist.
The phrases muddled that you once misspoke,
a favorite punchline of a botched good joke.
Our mords we wix when we get carried away,
yielding unbridled laughter on a favorite day.
A stubbed-toe to remind you are alive,
a small kindness lending hope to survive.

And there’s the day we wake, sky a deepest blue.
Or those ghostly grey and stormy too.
When your heart it breaks with love that’s lost,
with the reminder that each connection costs.
When you miss the people who have come and gone,
and your days seem to drag on and on…

…and we are saved by moments where a quiet peace
descends and offers sweetest release.
Like the quiet space as the first snow falls soft
a peaceful gift born from mystery aloft.
Silent, satin, cotton-laden white…
…for a blink each little thing is again made right.
Like a beloved movie with a glass of wine,
the lines embedded within your mind,
characters and lives that are much adored
provides escape we could no other way afford.

Laughter, tears, and annoyance all
give rise to moments large and small.
Whimsey, heartache, adoration, loss,
joy, despair, and the bridge across
the river that threatened to be our journey’s end
but rather grows us into a richer blend
of who we were and are in the now
believing we need not always know how.

So we find this day to count each gift,
for each blessing that our heart it lifts,
to give thanks as we now close our eyes,
for those who turn merely living
into days that thrive.

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