Tuesday, November 22, 2005


"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A moment I will never forget took place forty-two years ago today. Time stood still for us when we heard that John Kennedy had been shot in Dallas. Only a few other events are etched as deeply in my memory.

A few days ago, as I was collection thoughts and ideas about thanksgiving and gratitude, I clipped the quote from JFK and thought I would include it in my journal during the days leading up to thanksgiving. Last night, I recognized that this is the day to include his words. What is it about overcast skies that weaves a sense of mystery into the scene below? Dark clouds against white-clad mountains or gray fog whispering through city streets: the real practical message is “its going to rain” or storm. But in the mist, when observed from a warm dry room, there is a nearly romantic sense of something behind the mist: something exciting will come out of the gloom. I sit at the window unconsciously waiting for “something.” A brilliant shaft of light breaks through the clouds painting fantastic illusive scenes before my eyes --- there is “something more.” “Something” unseen but nearly real – a presence almost felt. A misty day can do that --- to a listening, aware imagination….

“I cannot believe that the inscrutable
universe turns on an axis of suffering;
surely the strange beauty of the world
must somewhere rest on pure Joy!”
--- Louis Bogan

As if a switch has been turned, there is no longer sun mixed with rain, but heavy dark clouds driven by wild winds, whipping the trees with angry fury as though doing battle with the earth. Howling up from the river, whipping around the corners of the house, setting the house and the tall trees to creaking and complaining. Pine branches are broken from the trees and brought by the wind to rest on the deck --- the air is refreshed with the scent of pine wafting into the house. Fallen leaves are picked up and blown so fiercely through the tumultuous air that the yard is nearly cleared.
Temperatures drop rapidly; the day is ending in a tempest. Birds flee to thickets and find refuge by huddling close to sturdy tree trunks. Along with the birds, we prepare for the approaching storm.

The setting sun catches the edges of the clouds and momentarily fills my view with glory as it gilds the rapidly darkening sky.


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