So here we are, Fall is in full swing, the nights are coming on quicker, Halloween has passed us by as well as Daylight Savings and now the shortening of the day has sped up even more on our side of the planet. It’s growing colder now, Jack Frost has teasingly made his debut for the season, coming one day and allowing the warmth to come back in for a few before he comes again. The turkey isn’t even in the oven yet and we’ve already been inundated with Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas Is You” as we enter en masse in to November’s big Holiday, Thanksgiving. December’s festivities are barreling at us faster and faster it seems, as each year passes by and if we went by retail calendars, Christmas is already here!
However… hopefully each one of us is making the effort to be present as much as possible; to slow down and enjoy the moments we get without allowing the business of the times sweep us away. I am one of those who strive to make a daily effort to lean on and be mindful of what I am thankful for as much as I can, especially during any challenging season in my life. Collectively, we’ve had quite the challenging year in 2021, not to mention everything that seemed to go wrong in 2020.
Despite all of that, the ever hopeful part of me finds things to be thankful for, and truth be told we do have quite a lot to be thankful for, you and I. Little things and big things. If we were to write out a list of those things as they come to our mind, I’m sure it would surprise even the most miserly among us.
I’m thankful for the Sun. That insane ball of fire and energy that is seemingly endless and boundless in its abundance. The closest Star to our planet. So big a star, in fact, it could fit 1.3 MILLION Earths inside it. And here we hurtle through space and time, locked in a spinning, wobbling orbit around it.
I’m thankful to see the Earth rotate on its axis, creating a daily phenomenon with that star, the Sun, which we call, “Sunrise and Sunset”.
I’m thankful, of course, for my children and my girlfriend and yes, even her little soon to be five-year-old that walks around as if he’s God’s gift to the universe.
But I’m also thankful for the warm cup of coffee I have in the morning in the kitchen with my girlfriend, where I retell all the weird, crazy dreams I have.
I’m thankful for all the trials, tribulations and challenges I’ve gone through, stumbled, failed or overcome. Their sum total adds to who I am today.
I’m thankful for you, dear readers and listeners. I do write and create for myself, yes, but I’m thankful to those of you who read or listen, giving me your time. It’s fun to create, but I’m grateful that I get to share it.
You see? It doesn’t take much.
As promised, I wanted to give another offering for this particular Holiday on both the podcast and the blog, little charming poems I’ve found as I swiped around on Pinterest and dug into the interwebs. And with that, let’s begin this Offering for Thanksgiving.
Come gather ’round the table
To say a happy grace,
For family and food and friends
And a smile on every face.
The harvest is now over,
The fields are clean and bare,
For all the fruits are gathered in
And stored away with care.
The open fire burns cheerfully,
The dancing flames leap high,
And apples roasting in the ash
Pop with a happy sigh.
Be thankful for the harvest,Thanksgiving Day, by Kathryn S. Gibson. No further source was found.
For friends so good and gay,
For happiness and loving care
On This Thanksgiving Day.
Now the cold wind rattles
In the icy sedge,
And the sparrows ruffle
In the leadless hedge.
Past the wood and meadow,
On the frozen pool
All the boys go skating,
When they come from school.
The river too was frozen;
I saw it far away,
And wished that I could trace it,
Skating night and day,
Up to where the ice-bergs,November, by Katharine Pyle, – taken from St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine for Young Folks, Volume XVIII, Part 1 – November 1890 – April 1891 – this publication can be found at Archive.Org
On the polar sea,
Float, like glittering castles,
Waiting there for me.
Home for Thanksgiving
The flames in the fireplace are dancing in time
To the hearts of our children at play,
And fragrance of turkey is drifting about
Like the tunes they are singing today.
The pies in the oven are light golden brown
And the pudding is still steaming hot.
The table is laden with delicacies,
Brightly set and nothing forgot.
The chores are completed, the family arrives;
Now good friends and relations as well,
And the walls reecho fond greetings around
And nice things we’ve been saving to tell.
Our dinner is served and each plate quickly heaped
With the best things that a wife can prepare.
Now voices are hushed and our heads slowly bow
While we pause for a moment of prayer.
As once did the Pilgrims on old Plymouth Rock,
We pilgrims of earth now thank Thee, God,
For all they goodness and blessings and love,
For abundance we reap from the sod.
Please grant us perception of beauty and worth.Home for Thanksgiving, by James W. McLaughlin. Nothing further could be found.
Help us look at the things which we see,
That learning the value of life and its gifts
We’ll be evermore grateful to Thee.
A Thanksgiving Poem
The sun hath shed its kindly light,
Our harvesting is gladly o’er
Our fields have felt no killing blight,
Our bins are filled with goodly store.
From pestilence, fire, flood, and sword
We have been spared by thy decree,
And now with humble hearts, O Lord,
We come to pay our thanks to thee.
We feel that had our merits been
The measure of thy gifts to us,
We erring children, born of sin,
Might not now be rejoicing thus.
No deed of our hath brought us grace;
When thou were nigh our sight was dull,
We hid in trembling from thy face,
But thou, O God, wert merciful.
Thy mighty hand o’er all the land
Hath still been open to bestow
Those blessings which our wants demand
From heaven, whence all blessings flow.
Thou hast, with ever watchful eye,
Looked down on us with holy care,
And from thy storehouse in the sky
Hast scattered plenty everywhere.
Then lift we up our songs of praise
To thee, O Father, good and kind;
To thee we consecrate our days;
Be thine the temple of each mind.
With incense sweet our thanks ascend;A Thanksgiving Poem, by Paul Laurence Dunbar, 1872-1906. Mr. Dunbar was one of the first African American Poets to gain national recognition. This poem is in the Public Domain.
Before thy works our powers pall;
Though we should strive years without end,
We could not thank thee for them all.
And November goes,
With the last red berries
And the first white snows.
With night coming early,
And dawn coming late,
And ice in the bucket
And frost on the gate.
The fires burnNovember, wrongly attributed to Clyde Watson. Clyde took to her blog recently at clydewatson.com to rectify and actually give credit to the real author, Elizabeth Coatsworth. 1893-1986
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.
The Autumn hills are golden at the top,
And rounded as a poet’s silver rhyme;
The mellow days are ruby ripe, that drop
One after one into the lap of time.
Dead leaves are reddening in the woodland copse,
And forest boughs a fading glory wear;
No breath of wind stirs in their hazy tops,
Silence and peace are brooding everywhere.
The long day of the year is almost done,
And nature in the sunset musing stands,
Gray-robed, and violet-hooded like a nun,
Looking abroad o’er yellow harvest lands:
O’er tents of orchard boughs, and purple vines
With scarlet flecked, flung like broad banners out
Along the field paths where slow-pacing lines
Of meek-eyed kine obey the herdboy’s shout;
Where the tired ploughman his dun oxen turns,
Unyoked, afield, mid dewy grass to stray,
While over all the village church spire burns–
A shaft of flame in the last beams of day.
Empty and folded are her busy hands;
Her corn and wine and oil are safely stored,
As in the twilight of the year she stands,
And with her gladness seems to thank the Lord.
Thus let us rest awhile from toil and care,Thanksgiving, by Kate Seymour Maclean, 1836-1918. This poem is in the Public Domain.
In the sweet sabbath of this autumn calm,
And lift our hearts to heaven in grateful prayer,
And sing with nature our thanksgiving psalm.
Valleys lay in sunny vapor,
And a radiance mild was shed
From each tree that like a taper
At a feast stood. Then we said,
“Our feast, too, shall soon be spread,
Of good Thanksgiving turkey.”
And already still November
Drapes her snowy table here.
Fetch a log, then; coax the ember;
Fill your hearts with old-time cheer;
Heaven be thanked for one more year,
And our Thanksgiving turkey!
Welcome, brothers—all our party
Gathered in the homestead old!
Shake the snow off and with hearty
Hand-shakes drive away the cold;
Else your plate you’ll hardly hold
Of good Thanksgiving turkey.
When the skies are sad and murky,
‘Tis a cheerful thing to meet
Round this homely roast of turkey—
Pilgrims, pausing just to greet,
Then, with earnest grace, to eat
A new Thanksgiving turkey.
And the merry feast is freighted
With its meanings true and deep.
Those we’ve loved and those we’ve hated,
All, to-day, the rite will keep,
All, to-day, their dishes heap
With plump Thanksgiving turkey.
But how many hearts must tingle
Now with mournful memories!
In the festal wine shall mingle
Unseen tears, perhaps from eyes
That look beyond the board where lies
Our plain Thanksgiving turkey.
See around us, drawing nearer,
Those faint yearning shapes of air—
Friends than whom earth holds none dearer
No—alas! they are not there:
Have they, then, forgot to share
Our good Thanksgiving turkey?
Some have gone away and tarried
Strangely long by some strange wave;
Some have turned to foes; we carried
Some unto the pine-girt grave:
They’ll come no more so joyous-brave
To take Thanksgiving turkey.
Nay, repine not. Let our laughterThanksgiving Turkey, by George Parsons Lathrop, 1851-1898. This poem is in the Public Domain.
Leap like firelight up again.
Soon we touch the wide Hereafter,
Snow-field yet untrod of men:
Shall we meet once more—and when?—
To eat Thanksgiving turkey.
A Sensible Boy
I don’ believe in eating muchA Sensible Boy, Author Unknown. Found in Ideals Magazine, 1957
Of turkey, punkin pie an’ such;
It makes you dream bad dreams at night,
An’ then, besides, it’s not polite.
So I’m not goin’ to stuff and stuff,
An’ act like I can’t eat enough –
For me a turkey leg will do,
With just a slice of breast – or two –
Some liver, gizzard, an’ a wing,
An’ lots of dressing – that’s the thing!
Mashed potatoes, to make me grow,
Squash an’ cabbage, they’re fine, you know;
I must have some cranberries, too,
An’ layer cake – two pieces will do.
Then of punkin pie so yellow –
One piece, ’cause I’m a little fellow.
With nuts and applies I shall quit,
An’ not ask for another bit.
‘Tisn’t good, the doctors say,
To eat too much on Thanksgiving Day.