I never really knew my father, since he died when I was four years old. It is impossible for me to sift out any actual memories I might have from the stories and photographs mother shared with us while my sister and I were growing up. I do know he was the product of the Scottish Highlands, both of his parents having come from Scotland in the mid 1800s. He was quiet, frugal, and very much an independent spirit. He was gentle and loving, hard working and beloved by family and friends.
I’ve been thinking about him, and all those I respect and love as I contemplate this Thanksgiving, concerned about the days and months ahead in our changing and often frightening world. It is so easy to neglect gratitude for what we have in reaction to the fears and threats we see all around us.
But it is all relative, in a real and meaningful way. Blessings and threats, challenges and victories always come mixed, and one seldom cancels out the other. The blessings we wish for, even expect, can often obscure the blessings we actually have… if we allow that to happen. And, if we do, we wind up with emptiness and only regrets.
I am all alone today, and I could weep or complain about it if I wished to do so… but I have chosen the path that led to this situation, and am content with it in so many ways. We choose, and then we must choose how we respond to the consequences of those choices.
My meditation for today is on my father’s favorite saying:
“I cried because I had no shoes, until I met the man who had no feet.”
I have both shoes and feet, friends and family, food and warmth, life and love. I am truly blessed.
Bless everyone here. I wish you all joy and love.