Its Thanksgiving in my country, a holiday on which we historically give thanks for the bounty that we have been afforded. And in the past year I have learned the value of a daily “thanksgiving”, paying attention to the little things in my life which I have so often taken for granted—the very breath of life, my health, my education, my material comfort, my sweet wife, loving siblings and friends, two lovely puppies who daily teach me about God’s love.
And I’m grateful for waking again this morning to a beautiful world, one which features “puppies and flowers all over the place” once again. I’m grateful for living in a country with a political process which, though ragged and rugged so often, appears to steadily make progress and even now is showing signs of being willing to work through the political gridlock. I’m grateful for people like Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner who can produce marvelous movies like “LINCOLN” when movies featuring car chases, explosions, and gratuitous violence would more readily make money. I’m grateful for the wonderful technological advances my life has seen, now including the internet and its blog-o-sphere on which I have met many wonderful kindred spirits from all corners of the world, people to whom I have been able to say so often, “Winds of thought blow magniloquent meanings betwixt me and thee.”
And most of all I’m grateful for the gift of Faith. I used to think my faith was something that made me special, something that God had basically wielded upon me through the means of time and space, and something which I could wear like a suit of clothes of which I was very proud. I no longer see it that way at all. My Faith is a mystery and how and why I have this “gift” I can’t really explain and make no effort to. I’m just grateful for it. Meaningless, despair, even nihilism always beckons to a mind that works like mine but I’ve never succumbed to those siren calls. For some reason I have faith and I am so grateful.
Let me close with a simple observation from my beloved, dear friend and kindred spirit W. H. Auden:
In the desert of my heart,
Let the healing fountain start.
In this prison of my days,
Teach this free man how to praise.