I am in preparing to leave for my Thanksgiving vacation. This year instead of my traditional route of traveling north or south on the eastern coast where my Mom’s family are gathered, I am going to have Thanksgiving with a dear colleague from seminary in Indiana. I am most grateful to have this connection continue to grow after seminary.
I think that is what Thanksgiving has come to represent for me and perhaps the reason why it has become my most important Holiday. Connections to friends and family are what sustain us in healthy ways. It is an opportunity for us to celebrate these connections. To honor those whose lives have intersected with ours in significant ways.
Even if there is pain in those connections and woundedness, those connections help shape us into who we are. At some point in our lives, the woundedness needs to be transformed from that which hinders us to that which empowers us to make a different choice.
On the Our Home Universalist Church grounds there is a Magnolia tree that was planted there several years ago in memory of one of the members of that congregation. Last year a major windstorm came through the region and a huge thick branch of an oak tree crashed into the Magnolia, cutting off its lead point and stripping many of its branches from its trunk. It was not known if the Magnolia would fully recover. Less than a year later, the Magnolia is fuller than ever and it even provided the much needed cover for a bird’s nest to be built there. As painful as the event was at the time, new growth and vitality came forth from it. So too could that be our lives when painful things happen. We can be grateful, perhaps not for the event itself happening, but for the positive responses to the event that follow.
It is the intersections of all of these events in the form of people, places, and things that add to our life story as it unfolds mysteriously to a conclusion. For that I feel the deepest of gratitude.
May we offer thanks and gratitude for all our days, the good and the not so good because all can lead us to a fuller experience of life. Blessings,