Words call us, we go. A blurry thought, uncertain notes, hopelessly we stroll until meaning becomes clear, becomes us. Today we sat patiently trying to wait for words to come. It took a while. Children were crying. Hearts were weary but souls were full from a reunion a pandemic almost denied. We waited for the words to come, to express how we felt for we where thankful, full of thanks for a day that kept giving, spilling into another day that continues to give. Then the word ‘serious’ leapt across our mind. We questioned its intent, waited even for the discontent. ‘Serious’ what are we supposed to do with you. Then we remembered, being together is a serious matter. Being with family even in the middle of a pandemic is serious. The terrible stories we could have told are blunted because we did together seriously. So as we settle in, as we bask in the glory of yesterday, the majesty of today, and the hope for tomorrow, we know that together will always remain serious for us. Thanksgiving with people like us is a serious matter and we intend to keep it so.

Simple words are all we need to touch each other. To feel, to wonder, to love all that makes us whole. I am learning the power of simple. The power of soft words, like velvet gently brushed across my skin. The power of inclusive words too that wrap us all together like a fuzzy blanket on a cold winter night. The power of memorable words, unforgettable ones that tell how sweet it is to be loved by you. The power of paradise words, all of them that speak of the bliss we all know truly exists in heaven. The power of loving words, living words too that help us all rise up on wings like eagles. The power of enlightening words, those that let you bloom where you are planted for your light was never meant to be hidden. The power of simple words are profound, easy, effortless, sincere, honest, open, direct, pure, comfortable, uncomplicated, coherent, just, straightforward, elementary, natural, undemanding, plain, innocent, real, and light. So too are the words through which my kids gifted me with this Thanksgiving. Simple words that are as warm as a hug from loved ones this season. Simple words that share all they are thankful for. Keep simple, like Happy Thanksgiving. I am happy and thankful for you all. I give thanks to you all. That’s all.

The Bible verse in 1 Thessalonians, chapter 5 verse 18, notes that we should ‘be thankful in all circumstances.’ This verse takes on a special meaning when you consider all that we have endured in 2020. Still, we are told to be thankful in all circumstances. Hardly a Thanksgiving day goes by without folks expressing what they are thankful for. Everyone knows that gratitude plays a role in today’s Thanksgiving celebration. This interior attitude of thankfulness regardless of life circumstances takes on a special meaning this 2020. Not only am I grateful that key people in my life allow me to thrive on a daily basis, but this a year, I am especially grateful for the blessings I am consistently surrounded by. I choose to be thankful in all circumstances.

Still on my children, my thanksgiving.

Even with this pandemic, as challenging as it maybe, with social distancing, not going to church as we want to, homeschooling, working from home at the same, even wearing masks all the time. I am thankful in all circumstances. The past couple of months, I have also watched my husband work extremely hard to save lives, at the risk of his own life as an essential health care worker, with some stress, some deaths invariably, given his line of work, some deaths so painful, he brings it home just to release and be vulnerable around those that love him. Still, we are thankful in all circumstances. That silence and survival are my life’s greatest stories which chapters that keep writing themselves, chapters that shouldn’t surprise me (but still does after yet another incident just yesterday), chapters that truly capture what it means to be black, and female in academia, chapters that motivate me and serve as a reminder that there is a time to plant (silence) and a time to sow (survival), my life’s story unfolding before my eyes. Still I remain thankful even in these circumstances. Then there are my children. My life’s greatest joy, the core of my being, the strength of my life, my brightest light, my glowing moon, my blissful water, my passion for living, the source of my heart’s content, my innermost peace, my happiness personified, my creative confidence, my perfect poem, my sustainability, my grace. My children make me a better person. They help me grow and thrive in a world full of unknowns. Because of them I am content in who I am. With them, even a pandemic has allowed me to turn the unknown into opportunities of growth. The skills that I have gained from mastering homeschooling for example, are worthy of thanks. For them, I am thankful in all circumstances.

Thankful for the lifesaving gift I am lucky to call my husband.

This season maybe harsh, brutal, even painful for so many. I know it is easier said than done. But still be thankful in all circumstances. Life itself, even in the middle of a pandemic is a gift. Our tomorrows are not guaranteed. But today and always, it is important to keep being thankful in all circumstances.