Rust, gold, and brown carpet the drive. Nuts from the oaks are sprinkled across the lawn, all small delights for a curious pup to find. Gifts from the trees on this Thanksgiving Day, outside my French doors. I stand in the sun and watch Mini Cooper, now 14, roll in something she finds delightful. Her small chunky body twists to get at an itch that her arthritis won’t let her reach. Coaly spies her vulnerability and takes it as a signal to play. Cooper is an easy target for a 4 month old pup and I find myself wondering if this will be her last autumn.
My heart turns to McGyver who is not here to share this fall for the first time in 14 years. I give him his moment, and also send a silent love note to those humans who helped form me into who I am and are now gone. Coaly is getting closer to Cooper.
I focus on now, think of our children and grandchildren carrying forward traditions we started, gathered together on this day in the Midwest. One child called for advice on making gravy. The other child shared a video of margaritas they’d created, pulling from memories with us. I laugh to myself, think of how we are shaping them, and look forward to Christmas, when they will be. Life is as it should be. Coaly pounces. Cooper growls, but doesn’t move.
“Go get her, Cooper,” I call. “You’re still strong, girl.”
The old dog leaps up. Sometimes, we simply need a reminder. I watch Cooper fend off the large puppy, sending the gangly ball of legs and lanky body tumbling. We old ladies must root for each other as our youth fades, for our hearts and dreams are still very much alive. I say thank you to the sun, the temperature and the beauty of the hour for making this a moment I can hold in my heart.
We continue our stroll toward the barn, Coaly chasing leaves, Cooper seeking out the scents of creatures that live below the surface of the ground. Rustic grazes slowly across the still green pasture. The cat tightropes along the top board of the fence.
I watch turkeys fade into the woods, their gobbles giving away their hiding place and I marvel that we creatures survive. Cooper drags a deer leg toward me. I start, wonder where it came from. I hope some hunter is making venison stew and giving thanks or some coyotes are full and sleeping soundly. I fill myself to the brim with the variety of sounds, scents and visions that Nature showers upon me on this thanks giving walk. I don’t want to miss a second of THIS.
Give thanks, not simply today, but always, whenever you feel the deep inner joy of knowing our world is special, and we are here.
May you find a feeling of peace and a moment to treasure on this Thanksgiving Day, for we are all Blessed.
And, it is a miracle, that in all the time I spent outside my French doors today, I did not once think of our country’s trouble.