and a time for every purpose
Forecasts for travel over the Thanksgiving holiday season are telling us that more people will travel by car, rail, and air to connect with family and friends; this will be a commute larger than any in American history. Why is there such a great need to be a part of this migration?
Perhaps we are more apart of the natural processes of autumn than we realize. All of nature migrates, and enters a natural, instinctive rhythm. Geese take to the wing and form their “V” shapes, binding themselves to each other to seek new life. Whales move to their winter-feeding grounds in great colonies.
There is a poem, by Wendell Berry, which speaks to our need to connect to that “Something Greater”, that rhythm of life to which we naturally belong that helps give perspective to our lives.
“The Peace of Wild Things”
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things,
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
and I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world and I am free.
by Wendell Berry (Openings)
Thanksgiving is a holiday when the urge to reconnect to family and community is strong. In some ways, Thanksgiving is the simplest of holidays – – no gifts! All we need is an appetite – – perhaps a side dish.
There are people who seek their church rhythmically. Some come only Christmas and Easter … some come just for Lent. There are those who find themselves seeking community for baptism, memorial services, and weddings. It is as natural as nature on the move.
We long to be open to a Spirit that runs through all our lives, through all of life, and unites us together. We long to be grateful for each other. First Parish Church is a special community for which we all may be thankful, for it connects us to our families, communities, and our very selves.