The routine tracks of my Thanksgiving reflection take me back to familiar places and people on this day set aside for it. That is as it should be, I think. The usual suspects, because they are usual, are all too often taken for granted – not forgotten, exactly, just not remembered with deliberation. And that, too, is probably as it should be.
Some, long since gone, are so woven into the fabric of my life that it is sometimes hard to know where I stop and they begin – which thoughts mine, which theirs. Coming over the distance of years, their voices are crystal clear, forming the soundtrack of my inner life, blending into a symphony of meaning. Still others have been the mirror in which I have known myself – and like a mirror, have all but disappeared into purpose.
Grateful for colleagues at the various places I work, whose ideas challenge and change the way I think, or who ask just the right question at the right time – beginning a new adventure. Laughter weaves its way through conversations, giving them an effervesence, a liveliness that is deeply refreshing. Working with people who care so much about what we do together challenges me, humbles me, encourages me.
And for those, closer still, knowing best – forgiving most – holding lightly, but closely. Sharing the messy, chaotic journey through the ebbs and flows of becoming, as much part of me as I am of myself – maybe more. Just thinking around the table gives pause for unspeakable gratitute. Each one, themselves. What gifts of grace – laughter, listening, hearing unspoken connections of understanding over time, sentences finished without words, worlds of meaning in a raised eyebrow, a half-smile, depth in shared stillness.
Then, unfashionably perhaps, but looking into the mirror – seeing who is there, as aware as ever of faults and failings – still, thankful for the gift of my life – of me. To do less would be to undermine the thanksgiving for those above who have helped me become – and will, until done.
And, most of all, for Him in Whom all thanksgiving – indeed, all life – is made possible. Enabling wholeness through the wonder of giving thanks – inviting me into His own life, bringing what I am, finding place at the Table.
Thanks be to God.