with the faint glow of starlight on our backs
as we head into the joys, the surprises, the challenges of each day
sometimes with awe and wonder, perhaps expectation,
sandbags, walls, garbage, bunkers…
in wind swept deserts and streets
lined with sweet smelling olive trees alike
What a gift we are given when we can rise
in freedom, of some sort, to some degree.
This year, for once, for one honest moment,
let us forgive our ancestors for the real and true roots
from which the Thanksgiving ritual emerged.
Let us acknowledge the less than honorable
circumstances that created the “original” table of abundance
that North Americans attempt to re-create each year.
Let us acknowledge and forgive, each other and
ourselves for perpetuating inaccurate history.
For how can we be truly grateful if we do not?
We rise with you
Spirit of Truth and Justice
to stroll through all the many gardens of gratitude
inhaling the crystal clear air of freedoms
through rough and tumble avenues of debate and destruction.
This year, in solidarity
let the hands across North America
reach toward each others heart
to feel the pulse that has longed for centuries to beat as one:
Whole, spirit-filled and grace-full,
swimming in the river of thankfulness
for the clarity such intentions provide.
This year let us give not until it hurts
but until we can look in the mirror and know that
we are reaching profoundly into the wells of gratitude,
know that we are sitting in the pure joy of it
tearfully acknowledging the gift to rise each day
and make bread or beds,
give smiles, elicit laughter, cross the line that is personal space
to meet in the circle that is a hug.
Spirit of Compassion, you know
that if we were never to give thanks, these gifts would still abound.
You know, we would rise and walk in the dark of emptiness
missing completely the air of humanity
the being-ness that is grounded in the awareness,
the age-old knowledge that we are all one,
and together create the One.
to always rise above
wherever it is we find ourselves.
Let us give thanks
for the interdependent web that brought food to our tables,
for the spirits that gave of themselves so that we might eat,
for the bended backs that labored in the hot sun
and all the carriers that reached their destinations.
In this rich well of appreciation,
let us stretch our hand across the table of abundance
pressing lifeline against lifeline
giving thanks that we can do so,
and gently holding in our hearts
those who cannot, and could not from the beginning.
this year, let us commit to truly rising as
Unitarian Universalist voice
working for and loving all of humanity.
Que asi sea. So may it be. Blessed Be.
Amen. Ashe. Ho! As Salaam Alaikum. Shalom. Namaste. Paz.
Rev. Marta I. Valentín is the minister at First Church Unitarian in Littleton, Massachusetts