Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On Being Thankful

Forgive this somewhat wandering path I take, today. It's not compact and tidied up with a little bow. But it resonated with my spirit, so I wanted to share with you. Honestly? I had this great little post all primed on the virtue of a winning spirit. But it didn't jive with me. Not sure why. Thanksgiving looms -- and the education world is trembling with the joys of Thanksgiving Break. Yet, as I talked with my students today about being thankful, I was reminded of something my father has said many times over the years:

When you're on your deathbed, looking back over your life, you're not going to remember how much money you made or how many promotions you earned. You're not going to think about the goals you achieved or the places you've gone. You're only going to be thinking about the people who have loved you -- and the people you love.
He's right: the relationships we forge in this life matter the most. And the real world is not the only place where relationships matter. In the books we write, relationships are the glue that hold the pieces together. Regardless of the plot twist or the literary turn of phrase or the tantalizing tension (or delicious tension, for you Romance writers), the relationships the characters form with us and with one another draw us in and make us care. The lessons we learn via the actions, mistakes, forgiveness, destruction, and embraced joy of fictitious characters help us orient our own lives.

Thankfulness, too, is a virtue. When we take the time to reflect upon the the people who matter most and the things that bring us joy, we are being thankful. I am thankful for many things, not the least of which is you, the readers who interact with this blog, who teach me on a daily basis, who touch lives with your words. Happy Thanksgiving Week -- and may God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine upon you.

I am thankful for:
  • Crisp mornings, when the air is clear and the scent is autumn
  • Translucent disk of moon, rose-petal pink
  • Embrace of husband, his warmth enfolding me without question
  • Brave men (& supportive wives) who sacrifice(d) everything for the "Great Experiment"
  • Imaginative toddler nephew who tells me stories of his own
  • Moments of absolute solitude, perched on the cliff overlooking the ranch
It's your turn: What are you thankful for?


  1. beautiful thoughts. I am also thankful for those things and would add:

    the change of seasons
    my child's laughter
    good health
    employment in uncertain times

    and - the fact that we FINALLY finished the remodel of our basement and the contractors are OUT of my life. :D

  2. Pitch-perfect, Alex. Did you take that photo? It is stunning.

    I am thankful for the many bloggers like you I've met this year who remind me why we write.

    I am thankful for every day I see a sunrise/sunset.

    Okay must add the word verification: awmanac

    I am thankful I got to live on this stunning planet.

    I am thankful to have known love in all its phases and that have known so many wonderful people.


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