What I am most grateful for this Thanksgiving season is the dawning realization that the most long-lasting blessings, the brightest truths, and the sweetest-tasting peace resides in a very QUIET PLACE! Some of the quiet places bringing such blessings are the ones I least expected to find as being QUIET! For example, the utter quiet when you are lying downwind of the turkey flock in the woods, one-split second before you hear that first scratch in the acorns or that first gabble. Another example is the quiet between heartbeats when you are conciously slowing your own heart to calm a terrified, abandoned dog by the roadside. Another quiet place is found in your own throat just before you gulp in amazement at the Monarch butterfly lighting on the lip of your abandoned coffee cup. And has anyone given proper gratitude for that split-second of quiet at the bottom of a crescendo, either in a musical concert or in lovemaking?
I am so very grateful for these split-second hushes of awe simply because they are filled with awe. Being graced with the ability to stretch our souls wide into AWE is such a priceless blessing for which to be grateful. My sainted maternal grandfather used to tip-toe in to remind us grandchildren sleeping on pallets after Thanksgiving Day was over that “Now is the part of the day for which you REALLY ought to give thanks. This is the time for remembrance. This is the time for storing up your treasure where no one can break in and steal it. Now is the time for dreaming. Now is the time for thinking how much love waits for you here in the morning.” PawPaw, I know you are reading this as I write it, from your specially assigned light beam. I am so gratefully peaceful in these memories of you. I am so peacefully grateful that you were, and are, my dear PawPaw. You always amazed us how quietly you could tiptoe.
I am giving thanks for the quiet of my children’s breaths when preparing to greet me. I am filled with peace and gratefulness at the quiet in my soul when I view each new set of grandchildren’s photos posted on their parents’ websites. They are so quiet in their expectations just before their shouts of glee! Truly, it is the quietness in those brief moments of anticipation for which I give thanks. These brief moments ride on the faster-than-light particles from my heart to theirs. From them I have learned to hold my breath and just BE. The little ones in city, field, and forest know the secret of breath-held peace in preparation for whatever the day brings. The little ones know the necessity of the held breath. Without a held breath, a slowed heart, a focused mind, a directed soul, the long-awaited/soon-expected never quite happens fully.
My invitation to you all is to hold your breath, to watch, to focus just a split-second here and there through the happy bustle of this holiday. The micro-second of utter quiet within yourself will provide its very own “Horn of Plenty”, dear pilgrim.