Memories of “over the river and through the woods.”
Of dinner’s at grandmother’s house,
Where we had to go for long walks to work off all the food.
Of mom’s turkey stuffing, and cranberry dressing and a big drumstick on my plate.
Men cleaning up in the kitchen afterwards, hand washing mountains of dishes,
and then gathering around to find out how badly the Lions would lose this year.
Memories of later years of dinners at the Timberlanes,
Of three hours, sometimes stretching to four or five in traffic,
All worth it to see loved ones once again,
and to give thanks for one more year of having them in our lives.
Those years have passed, as have those loved ones,
We still gather with family and friends,
No longer the youngest, nor yet the eldest,
but increasingly aware of the blessings of life, and health, and friends.
To remember opens one up to the fleeting character of our lives,
And yet also to the goodness of that life in all its brevity.
Family recipes and shared stories,
Delicious smells and inside jokes,
Grandpa nodding off while the children play, quarrel, and make up,
A tear for grandma who is no longer with us,
News of a baby on the way.
For a day we set the world’s troubles aside,
for the goodness of turkey and dressing,
pumpkin or sweet potato pie.
Shared in a circle of love.