Many of you may recall having read these lines from past Thanksgivings; it is a retelling of a visit I had with one of my patients during this time of year—a woman whose life and struggles were unlike mine in many ways, but who nevertheless taught me many things about courage and integrity.
I hope you enjoy these words, and have a blessed Thanksgiving week.
• • •
Allow me to spin upon the spindle
a tale of an encounter true.
A patient once, a homeless mum,
her words now shared with you:
The hour of autumn arrives anew
when mirth and feasts abound.
But let me confess my days to you,
true gifts which have been found…
The steady cadence of my heart,
voice to praise when souls fall dark,
vision to behold each fresh day’s start-
For this, I am thankful.
The assured exhale of every breath,
joys gone by, its memories kept,
cloth to shield from winter’s death-
For this, I am thankful
Days when I can veil my cries,
days I look you in the eyes,
to know on night lies brighter skies-
For this, I am thankful.
So for this…I am thankful.
• Faux Cap, Southern Madagascar •
Taken around Thanksgiving time, these girls were part of the dear family I lived with during my time in Madagascar. Although they didn’t seem to have a lot, they were always joyful and thankful, and seeing this photo reminds me again that we should not be any different.
Wishing everyone in the States a wonderful Thanksgiving week!
Meet little Mialy, Mia, and their father…known simply as Baba. They—along with 15 other siblings—made up my host family during a time spent in the arid region of southern Madagascar, where I was doing research on the Antandroy communities.
I often think back to this family with bittersweet fondness. When I was there, I was profoundly inspired by their love for life and their appreciation of the simple joys it brings…while endlessly cheered by their wide grins and generous laughter.
But now, when I glance at this photo, their visage seems to reveal a truth much deeper…and my heart aches a little.
Nevertheless, the sound of their laughter will remain with me forever, and I am thankful to have met them…and grateful for the lessons they taught me in treasuring the simple moments in life.
Our village specialized in ‘bageda’…sweet potatoes.
After harvesting, we would bring them to the market and trade them for maize.
Although only Hanitra and Puppydoc are pictured above…
…the entire family worked very hard.
◊ A poem about this family ◊