Back in the Fall of 1983 my dad wrote a poem about Thanksgiving that I really like. His reading of it has been a tradition at Thanksgiving out at our land (a.k.a. "Brushy Land") ever since. In the above picture dad is reading his poem at Thanksgiving 1988 with his late friend, Mary Ellen McSpedden, at his side.

Thanksgiving And Thankstaking
by Dan Stone, November 1983

We meet here again to share what will become but memories
    of feelings too soon past that we hold close right now.

Our cause is simple, our purpose gentle, a gathering of good
    friends sharing a few moments, watching each other grow in
    body and soul.

       With no gifts to wrap,
          no candles to blow out,
          no heroes to honor,
          no resolutions to make.

       With no clothes to show off,
          no rings to finger,
          no documents to sign,
          no faces to mask.

      With no candy to give,
          no flags to wave,
          no cigars to pass out,
          no thoughts shared without caring.

Just pausing here and now, enjoying the best of each other,
    relaxing for the moment, ignoring what may come.

Recreating pieces of previous meetings, while merging what's
    past with what is, as memories of feelings become feelings
    of memories.

Counting all our treasures and pleasures, counting some
    surely worth little mention, but counting one another more
    than once.

Holding each other close, pushing away the darkness, keeping
    each other out of the cold.

Thankful for each and hopeful for all, a family of sorts, together.

Looking back some, but not very much, and not very far nor
    very long.

Mainly dancing the steps that this day offers, as it
    brightens our lives and refreshes our spirits.

Smelling and tasting, seeing, hearing, feeling, (watching,
    listening, touching), remembering, caring, enjoying,
    helping and just living.

Soaking up the special moments as each of them passes us by
    but never completely leaves us.

Laughing with each other and at certain others, letting go
    more than can be helped.

Out of the rush, and free of the push.

Recognizing the plain simple joy of getting ourselves outside
    and getting outside ourselves.

Outside, to remind us that thanks inside may become
    imprisoned, lacking freedom to be exchanged as thanks
    given for thanks taken.

So we have returned to this place in our hearts, completing
    our tour of a year's offerings, harvesting our thanks by
    being together.

      With no gifts to wrap,
          no candles to blow out,
          no heroes to honor,
          no resolutions to make.

       Et Cetera.

Same time, same place, same friends, same things, yet all as
    different as these feelings.

There's not much I'd rather do than mark these cycles with you.

So, please pass the turkey, and maybe a little of that dressing!!

    For a copy of this poem in PDF format, click here.

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