Because we have had our Thanksgiving meal on Sunday for the last number of years, I have spent the first part of the actual holiday in the Halifax Public Gardens, sitting on a bench around the “Decanter” fountain–I’m sure it has an actual name in addition to the name I have given it so as to distinguish it from the “Front” fountain and what had been the “Pebbles” fountain. I usually bring a volume of poetry (Mary Oliver’s Devotions this year), something to write in/with (Journal and .38 Blue Pilot G2), and a snack (a Cox Orange Pippin apple–fave–and a couple Maria cookies). Then, I simply take time to Be and to Listen and to Notice.
It felt especially poignant this year to be in the Gardens after someone/s girdled 30 trees in an attempt to kill them and several weeks later set fire to a corner of Horticulture Hall, closing it for the season. The wounds are evident in scorch marks and the burlap gauze wrapped around tree trunks, holding bark grafts in place–and yet, there is still so much life…the ant on my knee; the duck wander-quacking beneath the bench; the young kids in the family play area having a rousing romp of beach ball soccer; the dahlias still in their glory; the leaves that have stayed on the branches, in spite of the recent tropical storm/hurricane, as though to say, “If I’m going, I’m staying as long as I can first…playing my hand, my colour palette, for all the wonder possible.”
And in the midst of this fullness I realized…To Be, To Listen, To Notice…To Express… isn’t that the heart of Thanksgiving? Yesterday’s meal as a group of around 18 left people full and happy, judging by comment, by sigh, by laughter and conversation. Today was a different sort of feasting…and it left my soul overflowing.
Thank you for all of the ways we are nourished, wholly and completely and without reservation… It is all gift and I am entirely grateful.