The Feast of Feasts

Thanksgiving is for being you.
There are no thanks without you.

You are the power of hopeful promise;
you are the balky soil turning upon itself;
you are bursting forth in your experience.

You are not the person next to you–
not an image or an expectation.
You are the infinite and eternal you–
blessed, and loved, and consoled
by the utter commonness
and community of our souls. ~ John Fitzsimmons

“This was long overdue,” my youngest son said. We were sitting by the bonfire that his brother had built Saturday night. We were among a small group of friends (theirs and mine) who gathered on the frigid night to continue celebrating Thanksgiving.  The front porch and garage doors had been outfitted in Christmas lights and a beautiful buffet of hot food and beverages was on display inside the garage. It was a feast for the season-that is one for the cold, cold weather. Turkey chili, black bean soup, hot cider, homemade hot chocolate filled us up and warmed our bodies too.

My youngest son had dug the pit for the fire last spring. Previous to the unearthing, we had used a small metal pit, and by my son’s standards, it was far too small!  He was used to burning pallets and larger logs and decided that our yard needed the same. Thus began his project; one befitting his size and personality. Rocks and dirt are his thing and he set out to create what a friend of mine said was the biggest fire pit she had ever seen! The pit is perfectly circular. A berm of sorts was made in the front (more or less from the pile of grass and dirt left over from the dig) and the back is graced by large rocks that my son brought out from the woods by hand. The pit had been used a couple of times by the boys this summer while I was away.  I am sure a few friends “visited” for those occasions. Since I received no calls while I was gone,  I can safely assume that nothing major occurred -phew!

Since I had yet to enjoy my son’s masterpiece, Thanksgiving Saturday seemed a perfect time to assemble our friends and celebrate.  My oldest son and I spent most of Saturday getting ready. He is a terrific party planner and we always enjoy brainstorming ideas and then setting them into action. He is also a bit more calm in the execution as I have a tendency to worry about running out of time or forgetting things.  My friends are wonderful; they made the delicious main courses for the event. In fact, one of my friends had just redone her deck and had wood that she and her husband needed to get rid of. On Friday, Dan drove over a trailer full of it. We managed to get halfway through it-leaving plenty for a Christmas conflagration!

As you know from my most recent post, I am feeling particularly thankful this year. I suppose Saturday night was an example of my “Appreciation Celebration”.  But I am not sure that it belongs to only me. And this is where my son’s expression carries some weight. My youngest is a man of few words and when he does speak, his message is usually powerful and profound. I am sure that he had been reflecting upon deeper emotions and expressing a sense of inner peace. The bonfire was a metaphor for his feelings ( as well as his brother’s and mine). Especially, especially this year. We’ve grown as individuals as well as a family. It’s a beautiful thing to begin to feel more solid and whole within yourself and to be appreciated for who you are and loved unconditionally.

This time of year can be all about food and gifts and endless holiday obligations if we let it. But it is all so much more.  Truly it is a journey toward something bigger, something hard to define but easy to experience if we open ourselves up to it-something everlasting.

Are you “long overdue?”

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