I give thanks
for being just as I am.
My favorite holiday is less than two days away. I do so enjoy the connectedness we all share for this special event. All across these United States, as one people, preparations are underway. While some travel to the bosom of family and dear friends, others get ready to receive them. Old family recipes resurrected, new variations added on, shopping lists filled at markets, kitchens emanating sounds and aromas of festivities to come. The anticipation and excitement in the air is palpable.
It is about now, before the crowd gathers and cooking is seriously in progress, that I take some time to fully acknowledge the spirit of the holiday. To review the past year and take note of the myriad blessings in my life. I do this in my most sacred of places – the garden. This year, there is a storm coming our way. Much disruption is being forecast and I’m inclined to conclude that in the stress of dealing with the complications, one will be less inclined to think about such metaphysical things like gratitude and convivial familial connections.
As I slowly wend my way around sleeping flower beds and leafless shrubs, I give thanks to my wisest and kindest of all teachers. This space that is my garden. I’m glad for every plant and creature I have encountered through the year. The beautiful and productive as well as the nasty and destructive. For without the latter, I wouldn’t know to appreciate the former. This year has had many challenges for me personally but the garden provided me solace. The chores gave me purpose and distraction while much joy was found in its beauty and bounty. I’m thankful for having this one place where nothing is expected of me and I’m accepted just as I am. Forgiveness and second chances abound here.All through the year, I have been guided to be present in the moment. To face whatever comes with an open mind and heart. To accept what is and not look to what is not. To find meaning and purpose in every situation. I have been given many reasons to feel proud and successful while at the same time, the garden has, on many occasion, gently pushed down my ego and put me in my place. I’m all the better for the hard lessons.
In the end, what truly matters are those everyday moments. The dailiness of life is the true gift. Big happenings, good or bad can derail a person but the normal and the routine offer immeasurable comfort and peace. So, come Thanksgiving Thursday, I’m deeply thankful for the expected and the usual. The sunshine and the rain.The ritualistic meals, the familiar settings, the dearest people and the immense love I have for them all.
I wish each of you a beautiful, peaceful and happy Thanksgiving.
I’m sharing some end of season images of the garden’s bounty:
(c) 2013 Shobha Vanchiswar