I’m sitting on a deck right now overlooking a meager acreage of Georgia woodland, its trees half clad in dwindling purples, golds, and reds. The rising sun behind the house is casting a shadow slicing the trees in half with its sharp morning rays. Between the bare trunks and falling foliage is the truest blue sky this season has seen yet. It’s still chilly, and the birds are at a relaxed pace, sounding their thanksgivings.
Today I will eat bold portions of quality food with special people. It’s Thanksgiving day, and though the holiday’s origins leave a little to be desired, its spirit reaches into every human soul. A lot of people still go around the table saying what they’re thankful for. If we don’t do that, we’re still at least admonished to think about it. Whatever our situations, Thanksgiving day has a way of reminding us how to be thankful.
Eating and giving thanks is the definition of Thanksgiving. In Alexander Schmemman’s For The Life Of The World, that’s also the definition of humanity. God gave the bounty of the world to man as food, and man was to eat it and return thanks, a sacrifice of praise. It’s our most primary purpose. It’s Eucharist (εὐχαριστία = thanksgiving) that we were made for, which is why Christ’s perfect sacrifice of praise—the sacrifice of himself—sustains us through our lives. As we eat today (and tomorrow and so on), take note of any deep gratitude in your belly, welling up from the spring that’s been there since you were born. Let it rise to your mind, and then speak it.