For me, Thanksgiving is more than a calendar day, though it is great to set aside a day specifically for giving thanks. And it is more than a season, though it is certainly appropriate to show gratitude at harvest time for Mother Earth’s loving gifts of food and natural beauty–that riot of color and celebration before the solemn stillness of winter.
For me, Thanksgiving is a WAY, a spiritual state. It’s a cultivated mindset of gratitude that is renewed every day because I receive so many daily gifts of Grace:
- a kind word from a client, a friend, or a clerk at Trader Joe’s :)
- a spontaneous hug from my daughter
- a loving snuggle from an animal friend
- an encouraging message from my spirit guides
- a breathtaking view of our local beach at sunset
The Divine showers us daily with such simple gifts, and in return asks only for our attention and appreciation.
I remember my most childlike response of gratitude, a few years ago. (I randomly toggle between being 6, 16 and 60 lately–6 seems to be “on” more of the time, which is certainly the most fun!) I walked out of a building to a particularly spectacular sunset, very like this one:
At the sight of the shafts of glorious light in the glow of the clouds, I spontaneously lifted my hands in awe and silent praise. Then a light-shaft of thought blazed through my mind, “You’re a Leo, you love applause for your art–Creator would love some, too!”
And even though I was enough older than 5 to feel a little foolish, I stood out there on the sidewalk and gave the Creator the sound of two hands clapping, through a trickle of tears and a great big grin.
I’ve never felt closer to the Divine than in that golden moment, when an inner voice whispered, “I’m glad you noticed.”
Perhaps you’ll see this post after the U.S. calendar day for Thanksgiving is past. But if you decide to make Thanksgiving your Way, any day you see this will be the right day to respond with attention, appreciation, and maybe applause for the gifts you are receiving from invisible hands of Grace. I’ll be right there clapping with you.
P.S. If you ever need a little reminder about a child’s-eye view of gratitude, just watch VeggieTales: Madame Blueberry. It’s a perennial favorite for clearing the mind of “stuffism,” and filling the spirit with thankfulness and wholesome laughter!