Toni Lucas, Pincher Creek Voice
Thanksgiving is held earlier in Canada than for our neighbours south of the border because it was originally a show of joy for the harvest. Centered around the growing season, it was a celebration that the work was done. At this point the crops were in, and hopefully there was enough to face whatever challenges arose throughout a winter that was beyond any control of our forefathers. For this, our ancestors were thankful.
Now we have markets that stock all manner of food from all across the globe. Most items can be gotten fresh with little consideration of a growing season. We no longer have to carefully pickle jam, salt and smoke our bounty, waiting for the tender green shoots of spring and the new livestock to be born. We no longer look into a larder and measure the contents against what we should be able to attain along the way until the next crop can be harvested. For this, I am thankful.
"Lord, for food in a world where many walk in hunger, for faith in a world where many walk in fear, and for friends in a world where many walk alone, we give you thanks, O Lord, on this day. Amen."*
This is a grace that has stood forefront in my mind for many years now, since I first heard it. To me Grace is a way of reflecting on life and recognizing the bounty that we have in a regular and formal way before continuing on with the day to day hustle and bustle of our existence. It is a formal pause to take account in our day for the gifts that are upon us.
At points in my life I have been too stressed and tired to feel anything but self pity. I have found myself either ungrateful or unaware of the many wonderful people, things, opportunities and situations in my life.
I have not always recognized that these wonders existed in the first place in a formal way, taking these special people and things for granted. This includes myself, my family and friends, my health, abilities, and even my challenges as part of a life that is rich and full.
To me, the simple act of a grace is more than an accounting, a recognition of the many joys in my life. There have been times in my life where I have had considered my grace as part of a checklist. "There, that is done. I have acknowledged that more than myself goes into the making of my life, so I am a better person." It did not give me any peace. Why it gave me no peace was the spirit in which it was done. Done without thankfulness it has left me hungry and dissatisfied to the depths of my soul.
That does not lessen the impact of truly being grateful, and take accounting of what we have, and hope to achieve. I am hoping that all my readers have a fantastic weekend filled with abundance, recognition, appreciation, love, joy and grace.
* This Grace is taken and slightly modified from the television show Six Feet Under, from the Christmas Episode "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."