I love Thanksgiving. It's right up there with New Year's Day as one of my favorite holidays. I've come to really appreciate those celebrations that can't be taken over by commercialism, that offer space for reflection.
I know that if you're doing the cooking or trying to travel within certain time limits it can feel chaotic. But we have some control over that. The expectations are simpler than those holidays that are associated with gift giving or wild partying. For me, I am so happy to just gather together with others to be mindful of what we are given. As we get older, the list gets longer and longer. It might be remembering the touch football games in the backyard with friends or family no longer with us. It might be thinking about the times people have been so generous in the hospitality they've offered us. It could be for our health, for shelter, clothing, food, friends, family; the most creative friends also find reasons to be thankful for the lessons learned when things have not gone well.
A friend sent me this prayer that she had taken from John O'Donahue's To Bless the Space Between Us.
Grace After Meals
We end this meal with grace
For the joy and nourishment of food,
The slowed tome away from the world
To come into presence with each other
And sense the subtle lives behind our faces,
The different colors of our voices,
The edges of hungers we keep private,
The circle of love that unites us.
We pray the wise spirit who keeps us
To change the structures that make others hunger
And that after such grace we might now go forth
And impart dignity wherever we partake.