Sunday, November 25, 2012


This very night, if one is fortunate enough to be in the vicinity of the American History Museum in New York City, a marvelous sight will unfold.  Large pools of undefined colour lying on charcoal grey streets will slowly begin to rise in the air and take shape, a block-long arm here, a skyscraper-tall nose there, as the gargantuan balloons of the annual Thanksgiving Day parade come to life.  In this staging area, anchored by sand bags and nets, they will bob and nod in the midnight air as they await their frosty morning march through the Manhattan streets.  Delighted New Yorkers will watch and wave from balconies and windows as fifty million more of us view the merry procession on television.
 In town and country kitchens from sea to shining sea, sweet potatoes are being whipped into tasty concoctions, pies are baking, and yeast rolls are rising.
  Football teams are bouncing on sidelines, anxious to play the big games. 
Soon we will hold hands.
We will say Grace.
It is admittedly rather wonderful to live in a country that celebrates thankfulness.

It has frequently been pointed out to me that I am a positive person.  Sometimes this has been said with a sneer, as if my sanguine personality is at best quixotic, or at worst,  nothing more than silly eccentricity.  It’s quite true that, like dear Beatrice, I might not have been born at a merry hour, but “a star danced, and under that was I born”.  For while I am hardly unacquainted with the dark, I tend to always look for the light.  And I usually find it in the midst of gratitude.  

   Through the years I’ve discovered it’s a mistake to wait for some huge bounty to be thankful.   Gratitude does not mysteriously descend.  It needs to be cultivated and nurtured as a way of life, as a habit.  I am no stranger to bad days but I have learned that to be truly thankful, to shelter and tend my own gratitude, I must give what I don’t have.  Patience when I can’t find any.  A smile when I don’t have one.  Laughter when tears seem more comfortable.  In taking my eyes off myself I find my spirits lift as my eyes open to the beauty all around me.  As I am filled with thankfulness, more and more, beautiful wonders begin to follow my footfalls and embroider my pathways.  

Thanksgiving Day is a marvelous tradition celebrated with a feast.  But if thankfulness is merely a once a year emotion, our hearts remain thirsty, our souls are malnourished.  If we are lucky, in the midst of all this weekend’s festivities, each of us will find a quiet moment outside.  Under the trees, under the stars, under an afternoon sky, we will express our own private gratitude for breath and hope, for love and goodness.
 And we shall awake to more love and goodness every morning of the year.

I am thankful for each and every one of my readers
 and wish you all the joy of gratitude in your own lives.

Sometimes I need
only to stand
wherever I am
to be blessed.”
Mary Oliver

From the House of Edward, 
gaily wrapped for Christmas presents,
is flying out the windows of Wild Bouquet Press.