You know that moment at Thanksgiving when things get quiet and someone - usually an older someone - takes the silence as a cue to encourage everyone to say what they’re thankful for? It’s a tradition that has been around for as long as I can remember.
This year, I thought about my answer in advance. I asked myself, What are you thankful for, Sarah? But I challenged myself to come up with a real answer; not the whole “friends, family, God” spiel. As grateful as I am for those three things, I wanted something that’s authentic to where I’m at right now. In 2016.
The answer did not come easy. Anyone that knows me also knows that I have a tendency to over analyze, which leads to over complication. My point in mentioning this is that the answer appeared when I wasn’t trying to figure it out. And the answer was, and is, blissfully (and ironically) simple.
I am thankful for sunsets.
I am thankful for easy breathing; for morning sunlight hitting white sheets; for warm summer breezes and for yellow leaves on wet roads from rain. I’m thankful for laughter, for natural conversation, for unexpected blessings, for fine art, and new music.
By golly, I’m thankful for life itself!
And, with genuine confidence, that is what I said around the Thanksgiving table in Connecticut. Aside from good food and amazing company, this Thanksgiving was wonderful for the spontaneous dance sessions and faux snowball fight that broke out after dinner; for the listening ears of my aunt and uncle; and for the wonder in my little cousin’s eyes at the passing buildings on the train. They remind me that life is full of simple pleasures and small miracles.
There is almost too much to be thankful for; and for this, I thank God.
All that being said, I cannot deny the excruciating hardship that comes with living. Indeed, I think that the struggles of my year have brought more appreciation for the “small things.” Suffering has an amazing ability to strip away the things that don’t matter when looking at life from an eternal perspective.
I find that, like my little cousins, I am fascinated by the way the sun playfully peeks over subway cars and tall buildings; the way the East River looks like black glass at night; and the miracle that is each distinctive human personality.
These are the things that get me out of bed in the morning. They are the things that remind me of the exquisite generosity of my Benefactor, King, Father, and Friend. Without Him, I would be utterly lost.
With Him, there is no doubt that life is good.