An autumn past, the glorious playwright James Still sent me an email with this Max Coots prayer/poem/chant. He has sent this to his circle for many years and I was quite moved to be included in this Thanksgiving tradition. And then there is the poem, so spectacular in truth and wit. I loved it so much I’ve adopted the tradition, sending you this a virtual whisper of thanks, as James calls it. I call it a poem for the table, a little salt and a bit of sugar. I hope you will share it, read it aloud (that’s just the best) or delete it if that pleases you.
If this is your first time receiving it we might have just met, or perhaps reconnected after many years. Perhaps you are a stranger, stumbling on it as a novice and to you I say welcome. If you remember it from seasons past, I hope you enjoy it once more and wrap yourself in the true feeling that comes with it. If you are one of the lucky ones, receiving this from me and my dear friend…you are twice blessed. May it fill your heart as the day does your belly.
Let us give thanks for a bounty of people:
For children who are our second planting.
And though they grow like weeds and the wind too soon blows them away,
May they forgive us our cultivation and remember fondly where their roots are.
Let us give thanks:
For generous friends, with hearts as big as hubbards and smiles as bright as their blossoms;
For feisty friends as tart as apples; for continuous friends, who, like scallions and cucumbers, keep reminding us we’ve had them.
For crotchety friends, as sour as rhubarb and as indestructible.
For handsome friends, who are as gorgeous as eggplants and as elegant as a row of corn, and the others, as plain as potatoes and so good for you.
For funny friends who are as silly as Brussels sprouts and as amusing as Jerusalem artichokes, and serious friends, as complex as cauliflowers and as intricate as onions.
For friends as unpretentious as cabbages, as subtle as summer squash, as persistent as parsley, as delightful as dill, as endless as zucchini, and who, like parsnips, can be counted on to see you throughout the winter.
For old friends, nodding like sunflowers in the evening-time and young friends coming on as fast as radishes.
For loving friends, who wind around us like tendrils and hold us, despite our blights, wilts, and witherings.
And finally, for those friends now gone, like gardens past that have been harvested, but who fed us in their times that we might have life thereafter; for all these we give thanks.
– Max Coots
Wishing you a warm and meaningful Thanksgiving