Being Filled, Tipping Over

“And we pray, not for new earth or heaven, but to be quiet in heart, and in eye, clear. What we need is here.”

– Wendell Berry

“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”

– Ray Bradbury

I didn’t grow up in a family that said “grace” before meals. But ever since I was a young adult, I’ve had the practice of offering gratitude before my evening meal. I give thanks for the plants and animals and earth for my food. I reflect back on the day and think of moments to be grateful for. My kids got used to sharing our “gratefuls” growing up. Sometimes their answers were the same for days in a row. (“Books” was a common answer for one of my kids.) Sometimes their answers were goofy, other times serious.  I have no idea if they will “do gratefuls” once they’re on their own, but I hope I keep it up.

For those who will have an “empty seat” at your Thanksgiving table this year due to the loss of a loved one, may loving kindness surround you. For those who will be traveling, may safety be with you on the roads, on the railroad tracks or in the air. For anyone who is alone, remember we have some open seats at a table in Boxford and that the wild critters will thank you for Thanksgiving treats. For those tuning in to the 54th “National Day of Mourning” led by UAINE in Plymouth (via YouTube), may your understanding and sense of solidarity with Indigenous peoples deepen. For those spending time with family or friends, may the stresses be few and the hugs warm.  As I think you all, I am grateful.

Yours, Rev. Lee

P.S. Some of you know that in North Andover there was a contentious Select Board meeting on Monday night regarding the raising of a Palestinian flag for a month after the Israeli flag was up for a month. I was in line to speak at the meeting but did not get a chance, which was fine. But if you were there or watched the meeting and are curious about “what I would have said”, see here.