This Year I’m Thankful for…

Hard year of long hours, lots of unexpecteds and while I’m maintaining, I’m often too tired after work done, to do much more than sit and re-think my life choices –

However, tonight, with enough vacation time earned to take a long weekend, and steal a moment to think about Thanksgiving and what it means to me, I felt the Writing Muse strike.

I’ve mostly been too tired and grumpy for the Muse to show up and spend time with me….

But tonight, she visited, and gave voice to the many thoughts long on my mind this year, and especially, this Thanksgiving, when the holiday and my Dad’s birthday falls on the same date.

Happy Birthday, Dad

I’ve often been reminded of a poem you shared with me, long ago – and I realized, tonight, in this moment of quiet pondering time, so many have arrived in my world, each bringing the gift of a fragment of the crystal you told me of, so long ago, that I took for granted as being whole, while you were here.

Wish you were here

If you were, I now know someone who could  help you install/convert the home place to solar – and three who could help you finish the cellar and would be happy to aide in getting the home brewed beer set-up engineered/installed,  who would also be thrilled to share in the experiments of different recipes.

There are gardeners & permaculture enthusiasts who are  busy planting hops, herbs and other possible additions to try out 1,001 different blends for the brew mix or provide fresh tomatoes for you to have with mayo slathered on them.

Homesteaders who are ready to provide the hog and know how to dig the pit to do the slow roast in the ground, just like you thought was best way to cook such things – for the summer get together to take a break from the back-breaking work everyone engages in during the warm months.

There is one who makes me promise I won’t break out the chainsaw until he is here to show me how to cut the big logs, safely –  and another who is going to teach me how to cut sheetrock right (ahem) the FIRST time.

Another who has a target range and cheers me on while I try to regain my prior skills at hitting the target, while the dirt bank, behind the target,  which is bigger than the broad side of a  barn, takes multiple hits.

There are those  to study and discuss the Bible with, to ponder upon the power of  Mother Nature’s gifts to heal & converse on the possibilities of just how how much light, color, sounds, music play in healing the body?

Others who know how to care for animals when sick, harvest and spin wool from fibers gleaned and make useful daily needed products.

There are engineers, math geeks and scientists who save me from myself when I forget the right formula to use, and who  try to explain to me new concepts and don’t treat me like the village idiot when I ask,  “Is that along the same concept as (insert era/culture that died out 1,000 years ago) ?”

That reply, “Yes, but with improvements” or “No…different concept, let me explain it to you….” and proceed to do so in way I can understand – and remind me when I forget the finer points of numbers, physics, etc.

There are ones who tell me to put on my poker face, don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, over and over, just like you did, who, none the less,  still show up to cover my six from the vipers and sharks of the world, even on the days, when I, once more,  fail to follow the advice they have given me.

Those who discuss what a fair and just system would look like to them, who discuss my hypothetical questions on philosophy, law and history…

Just like you spent your parenting time of me, doing, while you were here –

There are those strong enough to listen without taking it personally when my temper blows – those that understand just because my tone sounds hard, doesn’t mean my heart is – those who hold the safe space for me to cry and work through yet another disappointment, without letting me slide into despair.

This year has been one of navigating so many new versions of old challenges, I sometimes get worn out, disheartened, cynical and often wonder, what is it all for, really?

In the end, I realize, so much of what you once provided for me, has shown up, in so many forms, since you left.  And those same folks support me in doing what you said was important, so long ago:

“Courage often means getting up, for one more day, and doing what needs to be done, best as you can.”

Miss you Dad.

“Happiness”

Happiness is like a crystal,
Fair and exquisite and clear,
Broken in a million pieces,
Shattered, scattered far and near.
Now and then along life’s pathway,
Lo! some shining fragments fall;
But there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.

You may find a bit of beauty,
Or an honest share of wealth,
While another just beside you
Gathers honor, love or health.
Vain to choose or grasp unduly,
Broken is the perfect ball;
And there are so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.

Yet the wise as on they journey
Treasure every fragment clear,
Fit them as they may together,
Imaging the shattered sphere,
Learning ever to be thankful,
Though their share of it is small;
For it has so many pieces
No one ever finds them all.

~ Priscilla Leonard