giving thanks

My five year old daughter and I pulled her auntie’s silver from the felt protective pouches. Knives, forks and spoons, carefully packed away from the last Thanksgiving supper. The old silver was clearly coveted–an heirloom.

It was a peaceful moment, like my daughter and I were the set designers dressing the stage before the actors arrived. The studio, measuring about twenty by twenty feet, transformed from canvas workspace to family-style dining area. The wood in the fireplace crackled; the rain danced on the rooftop. It was her and me, speaking about our treasures–our heirlooms–as we placed the silver beside each plate.

Over time, the space filled with the friends and family who could attend this year. Platter upon platter of food arrived–traditional dishes and new creations–savory on one side, sweets on the other. Everyone was seated and we said our thanks: thanks for safety, thanks for life, thanks for food, thanks for family, thanks for happiness.

Auntie was the last to speak. This is the moment when time is suspended, she said. When the food is prepared, and we sit and wait in appreciation, in anticipation. She called it her “favorite moment in time;” on the verge of gluttony. Yet with juices flowing in the mouth, this was the time to be still, be thankful. After all the words were said, we sat in beautiful silence. I looked at my daughter across from me, her eyes closed, hands clasped with her neighbor, and I became even more thankful of the heirlooms and traditions she will take with her into the future.

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