By Linda Oshins

It falls to me to write a blog on Thanksgiving day, the first day I’ve had to myself in months. I’m not a natural blogger as those of you who have followed the YOHI blogs may have surmised already, and I need some time without interruption to write. So I’ve turned down all the offers of hearty family meals and good fellowship to spend the day looking and listening in quiet before I fly to Seattle tomorrow to visit my grandchildren, where “loud” is the natural decibel of exuberance, and exuberance is constant. (Thankfully.)

I sit before my window, the one that opens onto my back yard where I saw a fox on Wednesday! Right in the middle of the city! (Thankfully.) He or she was keeping well away from the deer but standing solidly and looking me right in the eye. I didn’t move, hoping to prolong the visual interview. The beauty out that window is a perpetual gift. (Thankfully.)

I’m sipping my favorite tea, Sencha, purchased from my neighborhood co-op where checking out can be a prolonged affair since everybody knows one another and the person at the cash register and the customer at the counter can lapse into a long discussion about the purveyance of a certain cheese. But it’s nice to shop where you run into friends or make friends. (Thankfully.)

It’s easy to be thankful for what pleases me. But I’ve just hosted an iRest Yoga Nidra training at YOHI during which we practiced welcoming everything that arises, the pleasurable and the sort of emotions, memories, thoughts and sensations we usually dread and avoid. Paradoxically, honestly welcoming everything brings with it a ground of well-being that has no opposite and is a constant background to the fluctuations of life. (Thankfully.)

At the last silent retreat I attended, led by Richard Miller, I came across a book by Roger Housden who chooses 10 poems on a theme and writes about them (Ten Poems to Change Your Life, Ten Poems to Set You Free, etc.). My thought for this blog was to find the perfect poem giving thanks and write about it, inspired by Roger Housden. So I’m sitting here leafing through my poetry library. Imagine, this is my job! (Thankfully.)

Here is my poetic offering. It may not be your perfect Thanksgiving poem but I hope it strikes a chord.

Welcome Morning
by Anne Sexton

There is joy
in all,
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning,
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry “hello there, Anne”
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
each morning.

All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean,
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, the laughter or the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard
dies young.

In special gratitude to my business partners and the teachers and practitioners at Yoga on High.