Thanksgiving

Photo at Pixabay

I so wish the United States of America well on this day of Thanksgiving. A photograph of gridlocked traffic on CNN today touched something deep in me. I saw a nation literally queueing up to offer thanks. Now that is great – in the already great nation that is beloved home to favourite writers, poets and journal keepers – Roger Housden, Mary Oliver, Parker Palmer, May Sarton and William Stafford.

Home also to dear and hugely valued friends and teachers – Lori Ferguson, Mimi Krumholz, Ivon Prefontaine (also writers), and the marvellous Wolverson family. I shall remember the Cafe du Monde in New Orleans and a lovely wedding in Covington, Louisiana for the rest of my days, together with a most generous hospitality and grace.

And I look to the day when a happy little group of dreamers assemble in rocking chairs on the sunshine filled deck of Mimi and Andy’s new home. We’ll share grilled cheese, good coffee and the miracle of friendship that has blossomed between people who have never met. We are, truly, connected by more than the eye can see.

That’s what I want to say the biggest “thank you” for today. The immeasurably valued relationships that exist between people who have connected only by way of shared goodwill, or learning, or poetry, or the arts generally, or quiet reflection and contemplation upon the sheer gift and wonder of life. Without them, my life would be poorer. I greet them all, with love – and Thanksgiving.

Initiations

1-hymnoftheuniverse
Photo at 2CRG

For WAJ & ERF

I thank you, my God, for having in a thousand different ways led my eyes to discover the immense simplicity of things. Little by little, through the irresistible development of those yearnings you implanted in me, as a child, through the influence of gifted friends who entered my life at certain moments to bring light and strength to my mind, and through the awakenings of spirit I owe to the successive initiations, gentle and terrible, which you caused me to undergo: through all these I have been brought to the point where I can no longer see anything, nor any longer breathe, outside that milieu in which all is made one.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Hymn of the Universe

The last day of September. Contented and reflective. Quieter by far than the last few glad days in Paris. Never far from the river, I’ve lost count of the times I watched a leaf or a twig baptised into its flow.

Once connected to one branch and one tree. Now carried, moving onward in a larger universe. Then, a bud, a leaf or a twig, somewhere. Now, elsewhere. Matured and maturing still. Dying and living. Living and dying. Here. On the move. On the river. Higher, broader, deeper, wider.

Yes: as Teilhard before me, I notice ‘the immense simplicity of things’. Leaf and twig will die into that ‘milieu in which all is made one.’ And I recall another quiet moment, another leaf, another river.

Revenir. Come again.

Examen

It’s the little things …

Porridge with sultanas and good coffee; watching our neighbour dismantle Christmas lights; signwriters at the gym adorning the white walls with “stay focussed, adjust, adapt”; half a dozen inspirational blogs; greetings from writing friends in the USA; encouragement from a fellow sketchbook artist in Australia who also feels “like a kid in a sweet shop” whenever she encounters art supplies – and is fab at her craft; wonderful salad of red onions, couscous, strawberries, capers, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, avocado pear, sultanas, tomatoes – with cheese on toast; logs delivered – with an eating-out recommendation; being entranced by thirty or more small birds at and around the garden feeders – in a pause to watch of just five minutes; mince pies; a visit from our friendly electrician; knitting needles; lightly dusted haddock and tartare sauce; phone call with Mum; photo-collage of family gingerbread houses “competition”; books and music; meditation; reminiscing; prayer; evening fireside; poetry; thanksgiving.

Yep: it’s the little things that are really the big things.