For me, Thanksgiving has always been the door to the winter holiday season and its invitation to hit the “pause” button so that we may truly enjoy those we love and all we have been given.
Even when our lives feel overwhelmed with chaos, loss, fear and stress, there can be some small reminder of beauty, given without requirement of anything in return. Just because we are alive, we might encounter an instance of tenderness when least expected.
Our practice of Thanksgiving Day is preceded with a rush to gather, prepare, and organize. In creating the meal, there are long periods of tending, waiting, coaxing and patience. Some plans succeed, and we’re elated! Some plans fail despite our best efforts and desperate hopes. And still time unfolds, leaving us with only the choice of how to respond.
When we finally sit down to the holiday feast, alone or
with family and friends, the busy-ness finally stops. We are called to
take special notice of the arising of gratitude, for all that we have
Our intention with the practice of Thanksgiving is to remember and re-create a feeling of grace and abundance that still exists all around us, freely offered. Even if what we have is meager, we can take a break to notice some small blessing, some gift of kindness, some sweet moment or memory.
A natural companion to gratitude is generosity, and the rest of the winter holidays encourage us to give with joy, that we may brighten someone else’s life – and be enriched ourselves by the joy of that giving.
May you be at ease this Thanksgiving season, and be surrounded by love and care. May your giving bring you great contentment. May you create more peace in the lives you touch, and may that peace be extended endlessly to others. May you know stillness, delight and wonder.
Blessings this holiday season, from all of us – staff, Board and volunteers – whose privilege it is to serve you through the UUA Pacific Northwest.
In gratitude for our staff, the PNWD office will be closed on Thanksgiving and the day after, and from December 25 through January 1.