A puff of steam flows from my breath as I step onto the wet, cold porch of my home. It is early morn on Thanksgiving Day. My bare feet braving the dankness of the wet concrete, I come to offer a portion of my abundance with the forest creatures I share this land with.
There is always a gift unseen in every step. Not considering the gift, I set the bowl of squash seeds next to my rotting pumpkins from Halloween. The squirrels have been visiting my pumpkins and they are just now really looking scary with holes in their faces and their heads swelling from the record-breaking November downpours.
Gratitude in past years went to many people on this morn. In emails sent to hundreds, I thanked them for support, for friendship, for being there. On this dawn of a sabbatical year, life is much quieter, smaller, slower. My heart still swells in thanks to every one of those people from the past, but this year, my focus is on things I overlooked in those busy days of late.
This morning, the gift comes flooding through me as an understanding of how thankful I am to have these little squash seeds to set before the locals. More than that, I am grateful for their daily visits…for the honor of their company at my front door and the majesty witnessed in their way of life. They hibernate you know. Once full with the summers harvest, and plenty stored for the coming months…some will curl up and go to sleep for awhile, trusting that the Great Spirit will care for the world as they rest and grow.
Me too. Sabbatical is kind of like hibernation. I’ll see you in the Spring.