This Time

We move from Thanksgiving into Christmas this year of 2022. Holidays bring front and center so many emotions—happiness of sharing them with family and friends, loneliness for those not so fortunate, gratitude and appreciation for many reasons. Holidays bring back memories, too. I can get very melancholy over the past, especially during this time of year.

Growing up, my parents always had Thanksgiving dinner. My grandparents, aunts and uncles, plus cousins filled the length of our living room. Dad and my brother set up the tables while Mom made the dinner, her pies everyone loved included. After we kids set the table for over twenty people while Dad helped Mom, people began to arrive with more food and soon, the kitchen was packed and filled with laughter and the dinner table was covered with dishes of delicious homemade food (no Costco purchases then!).

It’s funny how when young, I took those times for granted, figuring Thanksgiving would always be like that. Instead, due to moving to different states, it often hasn’t been, and we’ve only had just our family of five at the table. That is the reason yesterday at our daughter’s house was so special with sixteen people at their table. It reenacted those memories of long ago and this time I was grateful.

Gratitude

This prose poem was written during the excesses of Tucson’s summer heat but the sentiment can be applied to any of God’s seasons. Today, preparing for Thanksgiving this week, I remain grateful and aware of the treasures of nature and the love of family and friends. Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and the gift of gratitude.

Unfolding from sleep I turn toward the open window.

A desert breeze puffs gentle kisses across my eyes and lips.

Sage and desert broom play luscious harmony for my nose.

With feline grace dawn arches blue-gray-pink over the mountaintop

Bringing another day.

Thank you for the new beginning.

I walk the park path in the cool dawn air.

Desert heat will rise soon.

A voyeur, I listen to the gossip of palo verde leaves

Am I the topic of their soft whispers?

The park is alive with rumors of the coming day.

Thank you for nature’s secrets.

Rabbit romps across the path,

Coyote slinks among the shadows, 

Bobcat shelters under the creosote bush,

Quails strut in formation,

Hawk soars in lazy circles seeking breakfast.

Thank you for the companions of morning

Clear skies gather hazy bits of cloud

Building monuments to the midsummer heat.

Monsoons hiss, rumble, boom, crack and clap.

Summer torrents cool, coaxing fragrance from the earth’s bounty.

A kaleidoscope of color frolics among the wrinkles of Pusch Ridge.

Thank you for the intricate interplay of nature’s ensemble.