Written on:December 3, 2017
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For Mom

We give thanks to fall
When summer’s warm breeze finishes with a sharp, cold edge
We give thanks for oranges, yellows, crisp browns
Weathered browns too
After all, green is but a state of mind
We relish the crunch of fallen leaves beneath our toes
It’s a cool drink of water for our feet
We give thanks for endless views so majestic
Surely God painted them
Snow on our mountains’ peaks
Snow in our hearts
Trails behind
Trails ahead

A destination reached? Fall
into a bed of feathers.
An old, comfortable book? Fall
into a new chapter and read.

We give thanks for a bountiful feast
When the smell of pumpkins wafting from a kitchen’s warmth
Blankets us in desire for selfless pursuits
Like service devoted to renewal
We give thanks for the privilege to serve our neighbors in need
To deliver them repast with love and a smile
We give thanks for turkey, yams, stuffing, peas, rolls, gravy, mashed potatoes
Jovial conversation devoid of politics
Mashed potatoes!
Contentment in our bellies
Sustenance in our community
Ovens behind
Laughter ahead

Someone else in the kitchen doing dishes? Fall
into an afternoon nap.
A slice of mincemeat pie? Fall
into a holiday movie and smile.

When our sorrows feel too heavy to bear
We give thanks for our memories of seasons past
We cherish every precious glimpse our minds keep safe in their nets
And give thanks to watch them dance like butterflies, lighter than air
As a last resort, this is where our loved ones live
The ones we’ve lost to the past and the ones we pray are searching for a way home
We keep our hearts open as we patiently wait to reunite with each and every one
Someday
For this certitude, we give thanks
Tenderness in our memories
Yearning in our hopes
Love behind
Love ahead

Unbearable loss? Fall
into warm, treasured reflections.
Excruciating regret? Fall
into another day and stand.

We give thanks for seasons to come
The replenishment of next spring
And generations of seasons that are stretching across the horizon
Teasing nature’s splendor beyond our imagination
We give thanks for the anticipation in children’s eyes
As each day that we inch closer to late December
Is a layer of wonder unmasked
We give thanks for the earth we have
And work tirelessly to protect the one they stand to inherit
Bundles of innocence resting in our laps
Tribulation weighing down on our backs
Plunder behind
Resurrection ahead

A curious mind to nurture? Fall
into a child’s embrace.
Hope for a sustainable planet? Fall
into a breath of fresh air and fight.

We give thanks for the open road
Fort Worth, Kansas City, Estes Park, Medford, Seattle
Chicago, Detroit, New York City, Asheville, Tampa
We give thanks for the gift of flight
London, Edinborough, Paris, Rome, Barcelona
Cairo, Jerusalem, Beijing, Tokyo, Sydney
The moon, Mars
We give thanks for these vessels, these miracles we call bodies
Through which we abide our completed and forthcoming thoroughfare
Time on our hands
Worlds in our sight
Accomplishment behind
Purpose ahead

An endless map? Fall
into spontaneity and adventure.
A new journey? Fall
into walking on air and fly.

Forward into fellowship, family, faith
To be somewhere, anywhere
With someone, everyone
Whenever
Gone
We give thanks

Written November 2017 in Seattle, Washington


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