Whoever said that November is a dreary month has either never visited New England or has no scope for the imagination. It is so hauntingly beautiful up here in New Hampshire this time of year. October is (of course--it's my birthday month!) my favorite, but November has a beauty all its own.
It's true that it gets dark early, but that glorious dusk light lingers in the late afternoon and casts a magical glow over everything. And the naked trees reaching up to the sky reveal to me how God must see all of us--naked and rather gangly, but reaching--hopeful and trusting--with all our might.
This afternoon I enjoyed a lovely walk by the river behind my parents' house with my mother and daughter. I've walked these trails countless times, but I see things fresh each time. And exploring my own childhood haunts with Clara is nothing short of magical.
I have so much to be thankful for tonight:
.: For my dad's life and currently stable health.
.: For my mom's tireless dedication for caring for my dad in his illness and demonstration of what "in sickness and in health" means.
.: For my dad's ability to keep a cheerful spirit so much of the time even though he is confined to his bed and chair.
.: For my daughter's outpouring of love for my parents, and her sensitivity to the fact that this is a difficult time for them.
.: For my husband's love for my family, and his hard-working spirit, even though he's so tired.
.: For my nephews and their shreeks of laughter that fill this house to bursting.
.: For my sister and her husband, and their faithfulness in being the people "on the ground," supporting my parents day in and day out while I'm so far away.
.: For my in-laws and their understanding and support for us being up here in NH and not even stopping in at their house this Thanksgiving, even though it is their family's most special holiday.
.: For my grandparents' continued good health and spirits, and their willingness to travel to be with us even though their bodies are slowing down with age.
.: For my sister's in-laws who have become good friends with my parents and cherished members of our extended family, and for their provision of much of tomorrow's feast.
.: For the "family" of good friends that Dave and I have built over the years, and the tenacity of friendship that can stretch across time and distance.
.: For this home that I grew up in, and the shelter it provides to so many of us.
.: For a day when our whole country pauses collectively to give thanks. The holiday itself may have dubious historical significance, but it has come to represent a beautiful spirit of generosity and gratitude that is worth celebrating.
What are you thankful for this November?