We were driving a back road somewhere between Massachusetts and New York, when I saw this beautiful little church. “Oh, Ron! You’ve got to get a picture!” There are certain scenes my husband knows I love. Churches, whether majestic cathedrals or small chapels tucked away in the woods, are right up there alongside interesting doors, pathways and empty benches.
Today is Thanksgiving. I’m sure by the time today’s post arrives on Facebook or in your email inbox, I’ll be busy prepping for dinner.
Recently, in my spiritual direction exercises, I’ve focused on the five senses with which God blesses us. Thanksgiving, I thought, is one of those days when every sense awakens.
We see the faces of those we love or are keenly aware of faces from bygone Thanksgivings we wish we could see or realize we may never see this side of Heaven.
Thank you, God, for the sense of sight!
We hear a cacophony of sounds—lively conversations, laughter, clanging pots and pans, and of course, football announcers droning in the background.
Thank you, God, for the sense of hearing!
Warm hugs incorporate the sense of touch as does the practice we have at our house of holding hands during the pre-meal prayer.
Thank you, God, for the sense of touch!
Thanksgiving must be the best day of the year for our sense of taste! Savory stuffing and gravy; creamy mashed potatoes; tart/sweet cranberry sauce; spicy pumpkin pie topped with sweetened whipped cream.
Thank you, God, for the sense of taste!
Finally, the smells of Thanksgiving. Roasting turkey; pungent herbs and spices; autumn-scented candles. The sense of smell is linked to memory more than any other sense. Scents of this family holiday resurrect memories of Thanksgivings long ago. For some those memories bring pleasure. For others, the recollections are unpleasant.
Thank you, God, for the sense of smell!
The following photos from our recent vacation are from Plymouth Rock where the pilgrims landed in 1620. Even though Plymouth Rock is a tourist destination with a bit of glitz, Ron and I enjoyed our time spent strolling through the quaint New England town, reflecting upon our nation’s heritage of faith.
Plymouth Rock is in fact a relatively small stone. It is on display in this columnar monument, guarded by a nice park ranger who answered cheerfully every child’s question.
Many of the Pilgrims died while traveling to their new home and many more didn’t survive that first brutal year. What a debt of gratitude I feel this Thanksgiving Day for these brave men and women who left homes and loved ones they knew in search of religious freedom. It reminds me of a saying I believe the Spirit implanted in my thoughts a while back: “God Always Calls Us to Good; God Never Calls Us to Easy.”
Myles Standish Monument is located a few miles from Plymouth Rock. Ron climbed to the top while I made it only about a quarter way up. Looking down from the circular stairway was too scary for this granny!
Myles Standish (c. 1584 – October 3, 1656) was an English military officer hired by the Pilgrims as military adviser for Plymouth Colony. (taken from Wikipedia)
May your day be blessed. I am thankful for you on not only Thanksgiving Day but all year long…