Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and my high holy day for my one successful spiritual practice, gratitude. I don’t hold many opinions about religion or about the spiritual side of life on this planet. But I know and firmly believe that the Creator, whoever/whatever that may be, wants us to notice, appreciate and give thanks for this creation in which we spend our earthly lives, and that “Thank you” is the highest form of spoken prayer.

This Thanksgiving weekend, I say “thank you” for:

  • birdsong as the sun is creeping slowly over the horizon
  • bright yellow leaves in the road, animated by passing cars so that the pavement is filled with little yellow dancing sprites
  • as much clean water as I need that I do not have to haul
  • all the farmers at my local farmer’s market who have staked their livelihood on producing fresh, healthy food that I can eat
  • compost, and the miracle that turns leaves and kitchen scraps into rich brown humus alive with earthworms
  • my public library, and all the staff who maintain such a friendly and welcoming atmosphere despite severe budget cuts that affected their livelihood and their ability to do their jobs
  • pomegranates
  • electronic tuners
  • my old cell phone that tells me “Goodbye!” when I tune it off
  • my friend Beth – and that after 40 years we have not run out of conversations
  • my harp teacher and her infinite patience and support
  • my recorder teachers and all they taught me this year about playing music vs. playing notes
  • my harp and recorder ensemble classmates, and their patience with a novice player trying to be a musician
  • my partner and her support for all my life’s endeavors
  • my cat crawling onto and sleeping on my hip every night
  • my dog, whose spirit brings joy into any lingering dark corner of my heart
  • the administrators at my old job, who successfully made my work life so miserable that I decided to retire
  • my chiropractor and my massage therapist, who keep this body tuned-up and functional
  • the nesting pair of hawks in my backyard neighbor’s trees, and their keening cries as they set off on their early morning hunts, circling the thermals that arise as the sun begins to warm the neighborhood pavements
  • Catherine, creativity midwife extraordinaire, who unerringly reads the hidden messages of my heart
  • my soul-sister Ruth Ann, and our connection that continues across time, distance and lifetimes
  • Pam and Maddy, friends who choose me as family and make a place for this orphan and only child around their Thanksgiving table
  • my JPG Harp Camp tribe, Lisa, Debbie, and Sara, and the lovely afternoon spent speaking from our hearts
  • the time outside of time spent in the magic of Debbie’s creekside cabin, where trees whisper secrets and cares float away on the water
  • rain, whenever it may fall, given its rarity these past months
  • the authors of the many books that are guides and companions as I make my way in this funny old world
  • pictures of the earth from space
  • the musicians in my community who create so many opportunities for hearing incredible music

And finally, immense gratitude for the opportunity to retire and start this new life, this new adventure, that in two short months has already been so interesting and rewarding.


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