I spent this morning making All The Desserts for my family’s Thanksgiving get-together later today. As I was cooking, I was thinking about you. About the different ways we’ll all spend today, the different challenges we’ll face. The way that a holiday can change its shape and impact so dramatically from year to year and gathering to gathering.
Today, I wish for you the ability to remember the power of a deep breath, and for that memory to occur when it’s most needed. Even if today is wonderful, and your family is more joy than burden, I wish for you a quiet moment to savor the energy in the room and to breathe deeply.
We should probably just save this gif to our phones…
If you are spending today alone, I wish for you the joy of peace and quiet, the deep tranquility that settles on an undisturbed home. I wish for you the joy of solitude, of being able to pursue your own activities on your own schedule. I wish for you a deep breath of joy in your own company, and the powerful truth that alone and lonely are not the same thing.
If you are spending today in the company of family who challenges you, I wish for you the knowledge of your own center. Regardless of what is said in the space around you, your sovereignty comes from within. May the words spoken around you be as wind passing the castle walls: immaterial, transparent, impermanent and gone swiftly. I wish for you a deep breath from that ascendant center, and the knowledge that your center cannot be taken from you.
If you are spending today in a place of grief or pain, I wish for you the comfort that can be found in memory. May the echo of summer sunshine, laughter, the clinking of glasses, the flickering of fireflies, the smell of fresh-baked bread, the music that scored your best day flicker across your mind. I wish you a deep breath in that space between tears, in a moment when your chest doesn’t feel quite as tight.
And for all of us, I wish for gratitude. For a moment to remember that it is a beautiful, terrible, sacred and strange thing to live, to breathe deeply, to hold so many thoughts and emotions inside these fragile bodies. I wish for all of us to sense for a moment the immense odds that were against our birth, the chain of delicate decisions and near misses that lead to us being here, together, in this moment. For a deep breath that underlines the peculiar wonder and rare miracle it is simply to exist. And for gratitude to spread out like so much spilling sunlight from that sweet, strange breath.
Blessed the seed that grew from dark earth
Blessed the fruits of the harvest
Blessed the hands that made us our food
And may Blessings be upon us
Breathe through today, and know that I am breathing with you.