Gratitude
November, 2006

  We finish our final preparations for the winter ahead…
mulching, pruning and stacking the firewood.  
We get out the winter parkas and snow boots.  

Caterpillars are busily spinning their cocoons
before they drift off to sleep.  
Leaves have blanketed the ground awaiting the first snowfall.  
First, there are flurries,
and then, the first cover of pure white.  
We see ice on the pond, then the stream,
the lake and eventually the river.  
Fish drop to deeper levels to feed.

Life is flowing in deeper places now—
not just on the surface.  
We feel the blustery north winds
beginning to bear down with their chilling gales.  
Days upon days of cloudy and stormy weather shroud us.  
We might be lucky to get several days in a row of sunshine.  
Those in the polar regions will not see the sun
for many months as it falls below the horizon.  
The tastes of hot cider, turkey roasting,
apple pie, and caramel apples on a stick catch our fancy.  

  The days are shorter, colder, and wetter.  
Autumn has gently penetrated our emotional defenses,
allowing us to experience hidden feelings.
We become most aware of the fragility of life.  
We take comfort in the presence of the Lord.

“On my bed I remember You;
I think of You through the watches of the night.  
Because You are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I stay close to You; Your right hand upholds me: (Psalm 63:6-8).

“The eternal God is my refuge,
and underneath are His everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27).

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear….” (Psalm 46:1-3).  

   If we have enjoyed a good harvest or successful year,
we express our thanks.
If the year has been difficult,
we are thankful for what we have
and ask for grace to do better in the future.  
Life is such a precious commodity!  
We appreciate all the little things that make our lives meaningful.
Gratitude is our response.  

  Autumn helps us come to terms with
our interdependence to life around us.  
By giving thanks we acknowledge “life” outside of ourselves.  
We gain a sense of belonging and also, one of “feeling loved.”   
Our independence diminishes.  
When we grow in gratefulness, we grow in love.   
Also, growing in love, we grow in gratefulness.

  “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.  
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever” (Psalm 100:4-5).  

  At Thanksgiving we begin to feel the tide change.  
The emotional atmosphere lightens up;
we feel more alive.  
Virtues of joy, compassion, and love come back into focus.

We seek relief from the dark and gloomy emotions.
We look forward to the increasing light
and hope which are right around the corner.  
We have journeyed through dense and cloudy emotions.

Now we look forward to clearer sailing,
leading to the shining, brilliant,
and radiant emotions of the season of light and celebration ahead.
        
                                                          
Addendum             
Soul Journey Through the Seasons
Harmony--12/06