Monday, November 30, 2015

Gratitude and Grace

Thanksgiving came and went.

I had a touch of bronchitis and no time to plan.

We moved the holiday from our usual festive ranch venue to the sameness of home.

All three of the bathrooms in my house were/are still under construction - usable, but not at all lovely.

Three nieces were missing from the all-gathered family table, which left me wanting a little bit more.

A couple of missing mothers - one gone now for two Thanksgivings, one simply choosing to stay home, away from the chaos of 16 grown-ups and a baby clamoring over food and games and a sink full of dirty dishes all the livelong day - underscored a distracted longing inside me.

Whatever it was we had going on - I wanted more.

So as the dust settled late yesterday, I was reluctant to begin thumbing through photos. I knew there weren't many there. We didn't pose the cousins, didn't stage the Norman Rockwell look-alike table shot, didn't try to create the perfect backdrop for a family Christmas card picture...

Emotionally flat. That's what it was. I didn't think I wanted to see the evidence.

But. Ahhhh.
There was this...

Snapped the Saturday before Thanksgiving.

I have known and loved these two grown women (middle and far right) for more than a quarter of a century. They are real life goddesses to me - keepers of my secrets, my hopes, my questions, and my big smart-ass answers. I feel known in their company.

We sneaked away to celebrate a birthday, but left one another with our lives as women, wives, mothers, sisters, daughters...and grandmothers (Tess pictured here...missing are Max and Kathryn)...beautifully unpacked, shaken out, and refolded for storage in our hearts.

We are not youngsters, but we enjoy sitting together in that spot alongside life's road that realizes age is a number and it's okay to still feel like a girl and act a little silly. We are wise and soulful and genuine human beings who know our biggest job now is to slow down and stand steady so new generations - like little Tess's - can climb onto our shoulders for a view of the World of Possibilities.

We are friends who enjoy good coffee, pecans on the ground, sunsets, the sound of rain, the music of Sam Baker, a fat slice of pie, and books that move our spirits.

We existed together for almost three days in a bubble of Gratitude.
We emerged from the bubble bathed in Grace.

Who says Thanksgiving has to fall on the 4th Thursday in November?
Mine came on the 3rd Saturday...

Best Thanksgiving ever.