Thanks = gracias.
Gracias = grace. Grace–to thank; to show favour; God’s favour or help; pardon, divine grace, mercy, elegance, virtue; enjoying favour; to show gratitude.
We say grace before meals to thank God for the blessing of food and the community of others gathered around the dinner table. On Thanksgiving (which is this weekend in Canada), we pause and reflect on all of the ways in which we have been blessed. We feast, we break bread, we gift loved ones with our time and share a meal or two. We feast on the extravagant beauty of nature set on fire by autumn’s Midas touch, we commune with nature and ourselves and the God who blessed our eyes with changing seasons, our faces with sunshine, and our bodies with fresh air.
This Thanksgiving, we here in Southern Ontario are enjoying an autumn weekend that feels like summer, only the leaves are painted in a riot of colour–a beauty which nearly escapes language or depiction. As I’m sitting here on the back porch with my laptop, enjoying my third cup of tea of the day and listening to the wind delicately rustle the leaves on the trees, I’m thinking about all the things for which I have to be thankful, the things that demand my saying grace.
I’m thankful for the BIG:
For my parents and my highly functional, solid upbringing and happy childhood. For the morals instilled in me at a young age, Biblical principles, and leftist political tendencies. For the country drives and airport pickups, Kinder Surprises, and Starbucks runs. I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for my incredible parents.
For my three siblings without whom life would be a lot less funny and a lot less bearable. For the similar, kooky sense of humour and the fact that we can communicate with mere looks. For the phone calls from Alberta, sharing of music, and automatic support system. I’ve always loved that there are four of us and am happy we’ve all grown up to remain good friends.
For my wonderful sister-in-law who couldn’t be a better fit to our weird and wonderful family and my adorable nephew, who has made my life so much more expansive and laughter-filled in the two years he’s been on earth.
For my cousins, who are few and far between but absolutely amazing–all of them. For cousin D. who is more like a friend who just so happens to be related to me and the way we’ve gotten even closer in the past few years.
For my dog that likes to sleep on my bed by my feet whenever I’m working on my laptop.
For my friend L. and her daughter (my niece), and for all of the fun and wisdom she’s shared with me all of these years–my sister from another mister.
For my friend B., the soothing haven that is her home (wherever it happens to be), and for the tea and sympathy that has been a balm to my soul.
For my friend M. with whom every slight occurrence is, was, or will be an inside joke and the esoteric language we speak that only we can understand.
For my coworkers–the guys who are like big brothers to me and the girls with whom I always laugh my butt off, and the customers who have turned into friends.
For my small church community that is more of a second family than it is an institution.
For the means and the opportunity to travel this summer to the UK, for R. and L. who were the perfect travel companions, and for all of the adventures we had on that trip of a lifetime.
For blog friends from across the continent who seem to be going through the same things I am and the encouragement and inspiration we give each other.
And I’m thankful for the seemingly LITTLE:
For that first sip of the first cup of tea of the day.
For my financial course.
For good books bought for $2.00 each at Value Village.
For the ability to walk up the escarpment several times a week.
For my book club.
For poetry written at 4:45 a.m.
For smiles from strangers.
For my new laptop.
For graffiti written in the fitting room at Winners: Above all else, remember you are beautiful.
Whether you are celebrating Thanksgiving this weekend or in November, what are some of the things (big or little) for which you are thankful?