Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Thanksgiving prayer

Several years ago, when I was a student in Bolad's Kitchen, I heard a beautiful prayer offered in thanksgiving, and I want to share the story of how it touched all of us who were present. About twenty of us students had gathered for a potluck one night during the school session. Most of us were new to studying with Martin Prechtel and only knew a few of our fellow students. Martin had been shocking many of us awake by requiring eloquence as well as attention in our responses in class.

Two men from the eastern US were last to arrive, and as we all stood awkwardly about the dining table, one of the men turned to the other, named Joseph, and asked him to say a prayer before we began eating. Joseph began, "I am thankful that for now my body is without pain or illness. I am thankful I am wearing these shoes that fit my feet, and keep out the water. I am grateful to be wearing these clothes that keep me dry and warm. I am thankful I am under a roof tonight, and have a place inside to sleep where I can relax and not be fearful. I am grateful I have this food to eat this evening, and that it is cooked and warm...."

Joseph continued on for some moments, offering thanks on behalf of all of us for having what really matters: warm food, safe shelter, dry clothing, health. I know that for myself, before he began, I was expecting something filled with lofty thoughts and beautiful phrasing. I was startled and then deeply moved by his profound gratitude for the most simple of his needs being met.

Throughout the Pacific Northwest, many people have been struggling with snow and cold, power outages and roadway nightmares. As you read this, if you are warm and fed and safe at home--please say Joseph's prayer. May your gratitude for your good fortune bless those who are without tonight.

These two images are the cards of fate in the Journey Oracle deck, the only two cards that have no phrases or questions and are not numbered. Drawing either of these two cards stops the oracle reading--we see either that our situation is filled with food, as reflected in the seasons of spring and summer, or that our situation has no food, reflected in the seasons of fall and winter. May you always have the blessings of enough food.