As we celebrate Thanksgiving 2020, we still have much to be thankful for, even if at times it does not appear that way. For my family this is a particularly poignant Thanksgiving because my older brother, Joe, passed from this life to the next life on November 15. We are sad and yet so very thankful for brother Joe.
For a great many people, Covid-19 worries and separation, the loss of family members and friends, and Covid-related financial worries raise dark clouds. But the sun does rise each morning. The sunrise photo I am using today was taken at Goguac Lake in my old hometown, Battle Creek, Michigan, by my friend John Zuk. I use it with John’s permission. John’s photo reminds us that even on cold mornings and with wintry leafless trees the sun does indeed still rise: the Creator’s reminder that, even if we have occasionally cloudy vision and dark days, the Source of Life has not abandoned us. And we cannot abandon each other.
While looking for a Thanksgiving reflection for 2020, I came across a poem by Takashi “Thomas” Tanemori. Takashi was eight years old when, on August 6, 1945, the world’s first atomic bomb was dropped on his home city, Hiroshima. The explosion immediately killed an estimated 80,000 people. Tens of thousands more later died of radiation exposure. Tanemori survived. He is still with us. He wrote this poem called “Looking into Heaven with Love and Gratitude” on Thanksgiving Day, November 23, 2006
Turning my face to Heaven
I sense rather than see
the endless blue.
Beyond the dancing leaves and soaring hawk,
its immeasurable stillness
reflects the wonder of all Creation.
Morning dew glittering in the dawn,
like precious jewels;
and twinkling stars echoing in the silent night,
like the songs of angels,
We gather the fruits of the earth,
till the barn is overflowing with bounty.
My heart fills with countless blessings:
food, shelter, clothing and friends to be encircled.
Looking back, I see how
my stumbling steps have become a path
and how, on this lonely road,
I have never been alone.
The kindness of many has been
like a spring rain,
bringing new life to my heart,
as a “Blade of Grass” ever emerging
from the ashes of the Past.
I stand, Amazed at my blessings,
grateful for God’s Wonders!
A very Happy Thanksgiving.
Thank you for traveling with me on Another Voice.
26 November 2020