The land is laid bare.
The earth is cast in silver, and snow stays behind curtains of clouds, awaiting its cue to come and create the world anew. Trees display their stark branches, no ornaments or robes to hide behind. Waving grasses have slowed their dance and flowers have ceased their song. The world is quiet and dark and honest.
Today is the day of our imperfections.
Today, we have no pretense. We hope for no certain weather to adorn the view from our windows, we need no gifts to replace our words. We make foolhardy attempts at excellence and laugh as we fall gloriously short. We know that no one had ever made the perfect pie crust, except for in the fictional world of our memories. We know our turkey will be too dry, and our stuffing too wet. Our football team will lose and someone else will eat the last piece of pumpkin pie. Our great aunt will voice an unfavorable opinion that causes the rest of us to avert our eyes while we sip our wine. Today, we relish our imperfections and rest in the grace of our honesty.
In house after house, bread is broken. Families gather. Unapologetic grandfathers will give babies their first tastes of pumpkin pies. Dinners will be left uneaten on cold hospital trays, and men and women will stand in line in shelters, scooping mashed potatoes from large, steaming bowls. Chairs that should be filled will sit empty, surrounded by loved ones with heavy hearts. Announcements will be shared of new lives beginning, and crackly phone calls will be made, the words traversing the country, flying over the heads of people eating their supper. I love you. I miss you.
Like bread, we are broken and shared.
Our gratitude grows out of our imperfections, not inspite of it. The realization of our failures makes us cherish our triumphs. Our losses implore us to hold tight our gains. We are thankful for our blessings, for the trials we have been spared, and for the ones that we have been given.
The earth rests, naked in its honesty. The colors have long faded, and the wind is all that moves. And we are grateful for the air in our lungs.