Friday, November 19, 2010

Autumn Thanks

There are many things I love about autumn.  I love to rake crunchy, colorful leaves into gigantic piles.  I love to hustle children into the house after school on a crisp afternoon and catch up on what happened at school over hot chocolate. I love the smell and cracking sounds of a freshly laid fire.  I love to walk outside and see my breath come out in a misty cloud.  Today, I spent a better portion of my morning driving over snow covered mountains majesty, but as I drove down into the valley, autumn was still arrayed in all it's finery. 

Trees were clinging to their last leaves.  The sky sat heavily over the mountains.  Happy chimney smoke curled over houses full of family gathering for the coming Thanksgiving. 

This week, we get to take one last pause before we jump head first into Black Friday, Holiday programs, Santas on the corner, and all the rushing and hustling and bustling of the coming Christmas season. 

For many reasons, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, but not for the reasons you might think.  I could care less about turkey, sweet potatoes, and all that Thanksgiving fare.  (Personally, I am pushing for Thai this Thursday.)  Thanksgiving represents an opportunity to take a moment and celebrate gratitude.

As a child I was taught that 'gratitude determines our attitude'.  When we are full of gratitude, life is more abundant.  Kak Sri said, "Gratitude is the art of painting adversity into a lovely picture."  When we share our gratitude, it becomes a living power of the possible joy available to all of us.  Our hearts feel lighter when we count our blessings.  So, for this day, this short moment, this time to gather and give, to renew gratitude, to love one another more abundantly, I give thanks.

What are some of your favorite autumn rituals? 
What are some of your most important Thanksgiving traditions?

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