Sunday, November 21, 2010

A THANKFUL HEART


On the porch beneath a clabbered sky
I watch the day turn gold and slip away,
while gray squirrels rustle through leaves 
browning beneath the big hackberry, and 
chilled air carries a hint of woodsmoke.
Somewhere well upstream, geese are 
honking on the wing, sharp yelps 
marking their homeward passage 
through twilight's steady gathering.

Another unveiled autumn plays out
as we rest in mild circadian confusion,
aware—though circumspect 
in our affected silence—that November 
will run its course and winter waits ahead.

Doesn't winter always wait ahead?
Isn't the still season of ice and cold and 
keening wind always where years take us?
Is that why we make the time during
autumn's summation to gather 'round 
a familiar table, bow our heads, and
declare our thanks before having our feast?
Do we celebrate in gratitude or prudence,
mindful that our lot is good, yet uneasy 
we might have claimed too much credit
for the cornucopia we're about to enjoy?

The river is the color of old pewter in 
the waning light, divided into many 
small channels—a shredded ribbon, 
whispering as it finds it way between stones.
Such beauty. And there, in the quiet eventide, 
with a full moon rising to light the night, 
I recount my blessings before the holy stars—
and pray I might always keep a thankful heart.   

—————

36 comments:

Julie Baumlisberger said...

Just beautiful...thank you. Julie

Grizz………… said...

Julie…

Thank you.

Tramp said...

Clabber? I had to look that up, I found that it has Irish roots so it is obviously at home here.
The anticipation and mental preparation for Thanksgiving is well-explained for those of us who don't have this festival in their calendar. It is refreshing to read something genuine and personal of what it means.
We need to take any chance to take time out from work commitments to give real meaning to everything. Thanks, Griz, and enjoy your Thanksgiving.
...Tramp

Jayne said...

We must always be mindful indeed... just lovely Grizz.... just lovely.

Bonnie said...

Heart-warming Grizz. Truth expressed from reflective depths is beauty. I realize that I count on finding beauty here - in whatever form you package it - and am never disappointed.

Nature ID (Katie) said...

I concur with Julie, this is a beautiful post. Thank you for the reminder, Mr.Grizz.

George said...

This is a fine, beautiful, and though-provoking poem, Grizz, one that gets to the essence of why we must live our days in gratitude. I've read the poem three times at this point, and it means more with each reading. I've decided, in fact, that I will read this to my family and guests at my own Thanksgiving dinner this coming Thursday. Thanks so much for this gift and enjoy the holiday, the only one remaining that has not been excessively commercialized.

Molly said...

Yeats would be proud!

Dan Gurney said...

This poem reads like a prayer. It is lovely, and, like George, will read it Thanksgiving day. A wonderful contemplation on gratitude. Thank you, Grizz!

Grizz………… said...

Tramp…

A fine old word, clabber…though mega-grocery marts and pasteurization that misleads you to think that milk—or what purports to be milk, though I have my doubts—comes from bottles and cartons and not cow, have pretty much eliminated it from modern knowledge and usage.

I experienced clabber, both as a word and a fact, during my growing up—and the sky you see in the pix is a fair metaphoric approximation of same.

Many cultures have their thanksgiving (little "T") feast. I look forward to ours all year long—but I try and be aware and thankful for all I have every single day.

Grizz………… said...

Jayne…

Indeed we must—for no matter how little we have, the blessings still outweigh the lacks. Thank you, too—I'm glad you liked the post.

Grizz………… said...

Bonnie…

I do appreciate such words, and hope it is always so—for there is always beauty to be savored. Thank you.

Rochelle said...

Dear Griz, I always find such peace and expansion when I read your posts. It takes me right out in nature, as I sit in my highrise, at my machine (computer), listening only to the hum of the dishwasher or the constant, artificial air conditioning... Thank you for that.

I wanted to feature this blog post on my blog, and aso print it out to take to VIriginia with me where I will join my husband (he's already at the house) to have our thanksgiving, just the two of us, in the blue ridge mountains, on acreage with streams and silence. We are going to have a very basic thanksgiving meal, just the two of us. I would like to read it over our meal.

I would also like to share this with some friends of mine. I would include your blog link as I do unless you'd prefer not. Can I have your permission for all of these?

I am obeying your advisory on the right! :-)

Thank you for all that your writing does to enrich me and all of your reader fans. Hope you and the Mrs. have a lovely holiday.

Grizz………… said...

Nature ID (Katie)…

Thank you. My true hope is that I always maintain this perspective. They aren't mere words, but the way I want to guide and inform my life.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ_

the gentle truth and humble blessings of which you write gave me chills this day - a tingling of sorts through my veins that moved my heart and soul. Your words of thanks all wrapped in nature's bounty and the truth of the seasons and life are perfection - I am so thankful to share in your truthful life on the river and your amazing pictures and writings that always inspire, teach, and celebrate nature.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours...

Love Gail
peace......

Grizz………… said...

George…

I'm humbled by your kind words, George. That you would consider reading it is an unimaginable honor. I hoped the piece might convey something of what I felt—for I sometimes fear that gratitude is only cursorily acknowledged between bouts of striving for more and bigger rewards. When I assess my life, all the many gifts, it's clearly evident my blessing far outweigh the lacks.

A new truck, new computer, new camera, money in the bank…that's just stuff, and no matter how much stuff I accumulate, it would never suffice, would never make me feel like I feel sitting on the porch on a November evening, amid the fullness of the season, with a lovely river purling at my feet, birds and squirrels making their small sounds nearby, a bright moon rising and geese calling on the wind. How could any man not look around at such treasures and not be thankful? I am rich, in the only way that counts—I have love, a home that's plenty big enough, ample food on my table. Moreover, I have peace and joy.

If my life ends tomorrow I'd still be thankful for today…and I don't ever want to lose that attitude.

Again, thank you for your your lovely comments.

Grizz………… said...

Molly…

Yeats would certainly know his poetic reputation was in no danger from me. But I'd like to think he would have recognized a kindred—if far less talented—spirit. Thank you.

Grizz………… said...

Dan Gurney…

It is, I hope, a genuine prayer first and poem second—for I spoke and meant it before I ever fashioned it in these lines. As with George, I'm humbled and honored that you might read it to others.

Thank you for your wonderful comments.

Grizz………… said...

Rochelle…

Nothing you could say would please me more than your finding of peace and a natural escape when you visit this riverbank. That's my whole intention, and you statement makes it always worthwhile.

You may certainly read, print, share this with others (a link is appreciated, but not mandatory) and I do thank you for asking.

Your Blue Ridge Thanksgiving sounds lovely. I hope you have wonderful weather and a great time together. Again, thank you, as always, for such encouraging words.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Though we live different lives in different parts of the country, I know we share many things—not the least of which is thankfulness and truth. No one writes a more honest and open blog than you, which I know comes about because of an equally honest and open heart. I admire you very much for that.

I hope you always feel at home here—which is my hope for each and every reader—because I try my best to place my heart and soul into the words I write and even the photos I post. We have both learned, I think, that two of life's greatest truths and treasures, are to count your blessings and be thankful for them, and to share faithfully and freely with others.

Take care of yourself, enjoy…

Gail said...

OH GRIZZ,

your gentle words to me penetrated my heart in the best of ways. We do share truth and a thankfulness for all of our blessings.....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q


I hope this link came through, enjoy

Love Gail
peace.....

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Meant every word, too.

BTW, I've always liked a lot of Leonard Cohen's stuff. Thanks.

JLM

Hilary said...

Beautiful, Grizz. I'm coming to realize that I should expect nothing less, here.

Bernie said...

Grizz, what a wonderful thanksgiving post, your love of God, hearth and home is in every word. May you and yours always be blessed with love and good health....:-)Hugs

Grizz………… said...

Hilary…

Thank you. I hope I don't disappoint, but be forewarned, I occasionally detour into silliness and probably the purely trivial.

Grizz………… said...

Bernie…

It is good to hear from you—and I do very much appreciate your words. One thing I've learned, at least about me and my life, is that finding happiness is about finding balance—not all that complicated so long as it's not tied to an endless accumulation of material things. My life feels right when I make it about values and purpose, servitude and sharing—recognizing all that I have and being truly thankful.

deb said...

truly remarkable.

thank You.

Grizz………… said...

Deb…

Thank you…I'm glad you liked the post.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

What a beautiful post, Grizz! I love the picture and the words. Very moving. I shall return to read again this evening, when I can spend time savouring it more, and reading your other posts too.

Grizz………… said...

Raph…

Thank you—and please do visit again and stay as long as you like. You're always welcome.

Wanda..... said...

Your posts are ones that I like to read while alone and quiet, they are not to be rushed... sometimes not even wanting to break the spell by writing a comment...if that makes sense!

Grizz………… said...

Wanda…

It does…and I appreciate your saying that. Thank you.

Deb said...

Such vivid imagery...just beautiful.

Lindah said...

Catching up here...
Really beautiful, word and photo. Thought provoking.
Thank you for sharing.

Grizz………… said...

Deb...

I'm so sorry, I somehow missed replying to your comment. I hope you'll forgive me and hope it's not to late to say thank you.

Grizz………… said...

Lindah...

I'm just pleased you read and liked the post. Thank you.