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Giving Thanks

One of the things I love about Thanksgiving is that it is one of those holidays that has escaped a lot of the consumer frenzy (except as a preamble to one of the biggest shopping days of the year).  I also love that it is a secular holiday centered on feasting and gratitude.

I have so very much to be thankful for, my heart overflows with gratitude for the abundance in my life.  A wonderful husband, relatively good health, great friends, work that I love, time and space to nurture delight, many layers of community and support, all of my wonderful readers who affirm me in my love of writing and art.

I also take this time to remember those who go hungry and those who are alone.  I pray for the healing of the world and for my own widening capacity to love.

Some other Thanksgiving treasures that have touched me this day include this poem written by Rich at Pilgrim Path, so many wonderful images!  And this reflection on winter by Ron at The Weary Pilgrim and what season we find ourselves in. 

Then there is this Thanksgiving poem I will close with here:


I have been trying to read
the script cut in these hills—
a language carved in the shimmer of stubble
and the solid lines of soil, spoken
in the thud of apples falling
and the rasp of corn stalks finally bare.

The pheasants shout it with a rusty creak
as they gather in the fallen grain,
the blackbirds sing it
over their shoulders in parting,
and gold leaf illuminates the manuscript
where it is written in the trees.

Transcribed onto my human tongue
I believe it might sound like a lullaby,
or the simplest grace at table.
Across the gathering stillness
simply this: “For all that we have received,
dear God, make us truly grateful.”

-Lynn Ungar, from Blessing the Bread

I am off in the morning to Sacramento for a couple of days to be with my husband’s family.  Safe travels for all who are journeying and a most blessed Thanksgiving to each of you!

-Christine Valters Paintner

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7 Responses

  1. Thanks for the link, I just ordered one! And the price was just right, for a used copy :) Looks like a decent list of Lynn’s poems. I too am smitten.

    Hope you get a chance to soak into some relaxing bubbles!


  2. Hi Bette, Because I have become so smitten with her poems, I did a little sleuthing and discovered that the publisher of her previous book has a book titled What We Share edited by Patricia Frevert with several of Ungar’s poems reprinted. You can find it at:

    If you scroll through the Table of Contents you can see the titles of several of her poems there. I just ordered my copy.

    My time away was pretty exhausting, but it was good to see my husband’s family. Now I am recovering! Blessings, Christine

  3. “Happy-after-Thanksgiving”, Christine. Thank you for introducing me to Lynn Ungar’s most beautiful poetry. I see that her book is about $50 at, so I’m trying to gather her poetry from online. As well as the two you’ve posted, I found “Camas lillies” and “Passover: A Meditation”. Her “Thanksgiving” poem here is exactly how I felt while at my parents’ home in Iowa, and while driving home yesterday, I saw the same flock of blackbirds swirling in the golden afternoon sky, carrying the humbleness of the gift of life under their wings as they descended upon the harvested corn fields.

    Hope your time away was restful and full of peace.


  4. I hope your Thanksgiving continues to be wonderful – I enjoy your postings so much!

    It’s RGBP delurking week – make sure you leave a comment on blogs you visit this week!