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scattered, messy and thankful

thanksgiving: grateful acknowledgement of divine favor

Pine needles lay like pokey Pick-Up-Sticks on the sidewalk. I notice them as I walk; that and cracks, pebbles and dirt that washed from a flower bed in a recent rain. Stuff scattered on the sidewalk. It’s not clean. It’s rather messy.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow; a day marked on the calendar to acknowledge the good things in our lives. This is good, right? For a lot of us the answer is “yes,” but this year, more than ever, I’m keenly aware of how desperately painful the Holidays can be. People’s lives and relationships look like the messy sidewalk, so they don’t want to walk there. I get that; it looks like there’s nothing good to acknowledge.

There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy – Ralph H Blum

Walking, I look more closely at the pine needles, seeing the slender taper, the soft brown color and the patterns they leave on the sidewalk. The cracks spider-out like delicate snowflakes and the dirt displays a footprint of someone who passed by earlier. There’s more to the mess than meets the initial eye.

Personally, my life is ok. I have family that actually likes being together, friends, a warm home, my darling man and my sweet puppy. I could write pages of good things, some of which are disguised as messy, scattered and dirty.

My appeal is to love those walking on the messed up sidewalk. Kind words in an unkind world, a shared meal with a stranger, a few dollars handed to the couple on the street with their dog. In these small gestures we are able to give someone something to be thankful for when all else is simply thankless.

This year I wish I could invite every isolated person home for dinner. That’s not reality. On the other hand, small acts of kindness are reality, and I can do them; so can you.

Giving away reasons to see good…one messy sidewalk at a time –


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