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The Quietest Thanksgiving

It is quiet.


So quiet, I can hear the ticking of a clock from the other room and the distant, indistinct hum of faraway traffic. I am warm and still as I sit by the window, untouched by the cold rain which washes the world clean on this, the quietest of Thanksgiving Days. Through the window, I see rooftops and telephone wires, but what catches my eye are bare branches cutting across a gray sky. Rain darkens the pavement, and a tiny patch of rose gold sky hints at a glorious sunset hidden behind the thick, smoky clouds.


Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.


This Thanksgiving has been stripped bare, left exposed in still solitude. Empty chairs at empty tables, as the old song goes. Without the family, the friends and the feast, what are we left with on this raw, rainy day?


I think we are left with the thanks. We are left with the giving.


And we are left with the silent space which allows us to seek them, bring them out from behind the smoky clouds, and center in them.


A good friend called to connect, to say hello and wish me a Happy Thanksgiving. I know I am not the only person she called. She is on a mission of kindness - calling, setting up video chats, giving her time and her love to as many people as she can. She is focusing on those she knows live alone and are spending the holiday without companionship due to the pandemic. She is finding ways to ensure that her loved ones know they are not truly alone on the holiday.


She is always this giving, hidden within the exuberant noise of the annual gatherings, traditions and feasts.


Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.


What has always been there, in the spirit of giving, that we see more clearly in this quiet moment?


There are so many writings on gratitude. Spiritual writings, scientific writings, writings about how it affects your mood, your relationships, your happiness, your brain. Anything I might write on the subject has already been written. So, instead of writing about gratitude, today I simply write with gratitude.


I am grateful for shorter, darker days which bring space for rest and reflection. I am grateful for the rain which washes the world clean, for the window which lets the outdoors in while keeping the cold at bay. I am grateful for the space to center in the present moment, to breathe and to be. I am grateful for family and friends although they are not with me today. We know that love is not bound by distance or space.


And, just because we can't see it, doesn't mean it isn't there.

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