When I was a kid in school (long ago), the teacher would always have us write a list of things to be thankful for. I always wrote things like mom and dad and sister and the dog and the mouse that lived in my closet… she never appreciated the mouse the way I did.
That mouse comforted me as a child, because when I’d wake up and hear strange sounds, I knew it was the mouse. No problem, no question, no monster. Just the mouse.
I don’t know if remembering that task of listing things to be thankful for still inspires me after all these years, or if there really is something in the air. Maybe it’s just that I’m remembering all the wonderful Thanksgivings through the years.
Whatever it is, I seem to become aware of how much there is for which to be thankful, and so I start making a list in my head, and I start looking at things differently.
Most things that I’m thankful for don’t cost money and they don’t mean a thing to a materialistic world. No matter.
If you know what it’s like to breathe in the frosty air early in the morning, or to stand at a window watching the snow, knowing that there will be good sledding later… if you know what it’s like to find the first tiny violet blooming or the first tiny egg from the new pullets, then you know what I mean.
Those things don’t take money. They take an awareness of life around us, a love for God’s creation that can be so sharp it brings tears to your eyes.
I think that’s what Thanksgiving is all about.