Lately I have been giving a lot of thought to the expression calm before the storm and thinking about how our whole lives from birth to death is really made up of relatively brief periods of calmness between the dramatic episodes.
A dear friend of mine is facing the impending death of his father. Another one lost his father recently. In the past year a lot of my friends have been discussing their grief over the loss of loved ones during the past year. Brothers, daughters, husbands, wives, grandparents, and friends. I have attended three funerals in the last six months alone, and the conversations about diseases, addictions, and accidents seem to be ongoing like a river of consciousness.
I think middle age could be defined as that time in one’s life where you become aware of the speed with which time passes and how frequently death and drama visits us along the way. I am thankful for the gift this awareness has given me because it encourages me to cherish and savor each waking moment for the gift that it is.
We are all heading towards that next medical crisis, that next funeral, or whatever that next dramatic moment in our life is. Being mindful of this has really elevated my sense of gratitude for each day that I wake up with calm serenity and an eye for the beauty that exist all around us.
Autumn is really the time for contemplation for me as we head towards the end of the year and the beginning of another.
The book of Ecclesiastes tells us:
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Thanksgiving is the time for peace in my life. It is the time to reflect on the blessings of this life and express gratitude for the people who fill my life with love and camaraderie.
Each opportunity I have to just be in the presence of friends and family and enjoy a good conversation is something I cherish. A good meal and a good bottle of wine is the ritual I most often use to celebrate these moments. This is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and the one that feels the most sacred to me.
I wish you a wonderful feasting day of thanks and I am grateful for you being here and apart of my life.