As darkness pushes the day into night I look out at the forest behind us and I’m thankful for a day of sharing and caring amongst family and friends. I walk outside in the lightly falling mist to close the chicken coop and I count thirteen chickens and know that they all made it home safe. Walking back to the house I hear the water running hard now, meandering off the property to its destination below.
Over the last week, we’ve had over 7 inches of rain and I wonder when we’ll see the sun again. I look down at the garden that was so alive a couple of months ago and now see only a few vegetables left in the ground. A bed of Rainbow chard, celery and kale cover a small area where their colors stand out vibrantly waiting to be picked. The ferns from the carrots still green remind me that they’re still there. Instead of seeing a garden with no life now, I envision a weary soul who is resting for the next battle.
Thanksgiving means something more to me now that I understand what it is that I’m giving thanks to. Every day I try to notice the beauty while being a part of the pain. Today like all other days I’m thankful for learning how to love what’s important to me.
Our china, a wedding gift from Mom & Dad decorates our table as friends and family sit sharing food, some of which didn’t travel but a few feet. I scrub some carrots for dinner and stare at the pumpkin pie waiting to be cut. I watched as the pumpkin was cut this morning and once again I'm reminded how close our food supply is.
As many prepare for the mad rush of shopping days driving to the malls in oversize vehicles that wait to be filled with unnecessary items, we sit by the fire and contemplate the future as we begin to let go of the past year.
I often wonder about traditions now and hesitate at times to partake in something I know and understand little about. History is often written by those who write and not by those who see. I sit looking out the window anticipating what the season will bring.
Winter usually approaches slowly as fall puts fast to sleep all that needs rest. Seasons come and go and I allow the changes that time creates. I try to see things as they are and not what I expect them to be. I don’t allow myself to hope for things that are not possible but instead rejoice in what is. I enjoy spending holidays with those who are closest to me and understand the nature of things. We reflect on time passed and lessons learned. It’s a time to move forward and let go, a time to be.
Surrounded by warmth, I look out the window and see a changing landscape. Leafless are the trees now that stand apart without green filling the spaces in between. They stand naked in their glory as the energy that once was visible above the ground is now buried in the roots that support them. In the garden, Clover wanders in between the beds and over them forming an endless green blanket fixing nitrogen levels for early spring plantings. Fallen leaves are piled high on some beds providing green compost for the microbes below the soil. I watch the stems of the sunflowers swaying back and forth as Blue Jays hang effortlessly eating the last of the seeds. Spotted Towhees dance back and forth scratching the ground.
More days than one I give thanks for the bounty that nature provides us. I look before I eat at the food that decorates my plate and I see where it’s been and appreciate how it got to my table. During the seasons of life, I enjoy what each has to offer.
My shelves stacked high with books yet to read, now warm my lap as I sit next to a fire made of fallen wood from a forest nearby. I spend time with fibers ready to spin wrapping loved ones in clothing that they wear close to their hearts. I take this time out of the busy rush of the season to search for pictures to color the pages of this year’s garden journal and I fill in the missing links to the map of crop rotations.
Giving thanks makes me think of how different our lives would be if we didn’t have oil to depend on. We think nothing of booking a flight to visit family we haven’t talked to all year. I wonder how some would share their holidays if they only had those that lived near them to share it with. People we may see throughout the year but never have the time to connect with. Here at home, we take traveling fore granted as it’s always been available to us, but have we ever thought how different it would be if we didn’t have the ability to fly as we do. Could we survive a holiday alone if we had to? If not, why?
I’ve known some people over the years that are fine with the idea of staying home alone and not eating turkey for a holiday meal. It’s only when others look at them strangely that makes them feel uncomfortable. Sometimes traditions are made to be broken and new ones made in their place. Who’s to say what moments in history should be celebrated, some of us celebrate waking up each morning and looking outside our window at what waits to be seen.