For everyone I have ever called family, those still here and those gone.
For a wealth of friends, richer than I deserve.
For a snug home with a beautiful view.
For those who have blessed this space with their presence, and those yet to come.
For my job, meaningful work, health insurance, collegiality.
For modern medicine and helpers of all kinds.
For the places my kayak has taken me and the people who’ve gone there with me.
For the beauty of this natural state I live in.
For the beauty of the other places I have lived and the places I have visited.
For the interstate highway system and the back roads.
For the experience of driving myself up the Frio River.
For song and music and people to make both with.
For hugs and hands that will hold mine and people who mess with my hair.
For smiles and laughter.
For plenty of food, and bodies that need to be fueled regularly, and the simple pleasures of sharing the table.
For the living things that depend on me.
For people who notice.
For the good work of chopping and mixing and sautéing and plating and washing up and all manner of ways a kitchen can put hands to use.
For the wonder of a baby’s face.
For the wonder and delight and long-term joys of watching a small person grow into adulthood.
For God’s creation and love and mercy and grace; for Jesus coming to live among us; for what was accomplished on the cross; for the kingdom now and someday; for the hope of the life to come.
For recipes, and this old cookbook someone gave me when I first moved out on my own, and some of Mom’s stoneware dishes, and all our trips to the various arts and crafts festivals we used to go to where she bought them, and all those Thanksgivings when her kitchen was the warmest brightest place in the world to be, and the relish tray (green olives for my brother, black olives for me), and all the assorted family that gathered there, and the way Dad whistled when he cleaned everything up afterward, and this dressing I will carry to a potluck today in one of those dishes, and the fact (whether real or imagined) that it tastes just like hers, and the photo my brother sent me of the two apple pies he made (in his quest to make them just like hers), and for all the Facebooked and Tweeted expressions of thankfulness and pictures of food today.
For the friend who made me start keeping a gratitude journal seven and a half years ago, and every aspect and moment of that friendship, including being with her when she left this earth in January.
For the person who told me in the same season, “Hold the hope in front of you.”
For the hope in front of me, always.
And for you, whoever you are. For your presence in my life, or your stumbling across this spot; for the good you put into the world; for the gifts you bestow with generosity and the gifts you receive with thanks. For the grace with which you bear your burdens, and the heavy lifting when you’ve helped to bear mine. For the ways you love and the ways you are loved. For your essential page, or paragraph, or sentence, or word in this one great story we all live within.
What are you thankful for today?