Hello fellow readers, Last week, I crumbled under the stress of racing to meet deadlines. It felt paralyzing with classic symptoms of anxiety, a tight chest, and labored breathing. It’s a good thing I’m in good shape, I thought to myself, so my heart can ride the race. I also thought it’s not supposed to be like this. Then came a lesson of giving thanks that helped turn things around. I hope it helps you too.
A Lesson of Giving Thanks
As I made my way on Route 519 towards where one of the deadlines was to be delivered, I came across the huge sycamore tree – “I love that tree,” I said out loud, admiring its age, resilience, and beauty. It’s prized by the sheep farmer too, who decorates it for a holiday at hand. The Halloween ghosts still danced around its massive trunk, where soon a wreath will adorn.
Further down the road, the sun gleamed through the golden and tawny beech and oak leaves still on the trees, and it occurred to me this race of living should not be a race at all—instead, a rhythm, a cadence like the flow of nature. Yes, meeting responsibilities, but hand in hand with the day to day, life is about seeking and living in joy, finding the kid in your heart. “I’m not doing this anymore,” I said out loud, not knowing how I would change things.
Is it beginning to look a lot like Thanksgiving?
Then, Mother Nature brewed up eight inches of white fluff that frosted our landscape thankfully after the bulk of the leaves had fallen. Snow always brings out the kid in us. I took a spin on my cross-country skis in the thick of the storm just as dusk was looming. “It’s beginning to look a lot like – Thanksgiving?” I posted on Facebook with Ellie in the tracks shaped like a cross carved in the virgin snow.
The Story of Tom the Turkey
The next morning, the snow was softening quickly – fitting for a snowman, I chuckled, imagining my turkey puppet could be the hat. But shoveling the early snow took precedence as we had yet to mount the snowblower on the tractor.
After digging out, I retrieved Tom the Turkey from the fireplace. The tag was still on him from the day I bought him while visiting dear Sis in Virginia that last Thanksgiving Mom was at the table. As I situated the fuzzy fellow like a tree topper on the Norway Spruce that once served as a Christmas Tree, I tried to tuck the tag under his wing. I flipped and turned him every which way. Mom always left the tags on her stuffed animals, I suspect, because she thought they should be given to a child someday. I yanked the tag, stuffed it in my pocket, and snagged a photo of my handsome tree topper, all the while feeling like a big kid. It would have made mom smile.
And so, fellow readers, it’s Thanksgiving when we give thanks for the gifts of life. Of family and friends, those here and those who have passed on. We give thanks for the bounty of food and shelter- and love. And for the beauty and lessons of nature. Wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving. Garden Dilemmas? AskMaryStone@gmail.com (and now on your favorite Podcast App.)
My dear Ellie crossed over Rainbow Bridge on August 18th, 2020. A link to the story about my Unexpected Furry Messenger
Link to a special Podcast Episode 22: Lessons from Frosty, Thanks for Giving Thanks
Column updated 11/25/20