Yes, it is time for Thanksgiving again and the rituals that go with it, right? Everyone has their own rituals, and I think it is easy to get into the rush, rush, rush that often accompanies the Holiday Season. This morning, in my prayer time, I sat and gazed out a window at a garden patch that is a summer home to over 200 irises. Where the irises have died back, there is a blanket of frost announcing winter’s arrival. I took the opportunity to just breathe and drink in the beauty and peacefulness of my surroundings.
My eyes fell on the Thanksgiving cactus that lives in the west-facing bay window. I was struck by the beauty of her intricacy and the truths she was offering me. Her blossoms reached toward me, not for water or food, and not for what she thought I could provide. She just wanted to share the beauty she holds. Her agenda is simple. She shares who she is, in thanksgiving, to all around her.
This cactus typically blooms once a year, in early to late November. I am always delighted by her colorful, delicate treasures. Today I realized she is more than beautiful. She is a wise lady. She showed me that by sharing her loveliness, she was thanking me for the care she receives all year. I must confess, however, I am not the gardener or plant tender in our household. That job lies in the capable hands of my Oklahoma farmer husband. Still, the joy I gleaned from gratitude being offered, gave me reason to feel deep gratitude in my own being. My day became brighter because of her sweet contribution. And I understood the wisdom of the message she was sending. Our days can be sweeter, any time of year, when we share our gratitude and gifts with others, and when we accept the gifts and gratitude of others.
Holiday times are not always stress-free. That is true enough. But maybe they can be richer and filled with more beauty if we just notice, share and accept. As we make memories together this season, may they grow eager anticipation for the next blossoming from our hearts and the hearts of others. I think if she could, the little plant would be tickled to know she made a contribution to more than my physical surroundings today. She added to the uplifting of my heart. Why would I be content, when given the chance, to do less than offer my gifts through the deep and joyful beauty of gratitude?
Copyright November 2013
Lakewood, CO 80401
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“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and all major online retailers. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page
The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you live in the U.S. and would like an autographed copy sent directly to you, click on the tab for buying books on my home page. I will ship it to you after your purchase.