Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010: An Ode to Trees

We tiptoed onto Papa's Grandma's land in the darkness, and were greeted the next morning, the day before Thanksgiving, by this magnificent tree. It was the perfect beginning, the perfect reminder to give thanks for the beauty that surrounds us. We celebrated it by adorning our trusty Vagabond with Andy Goldsworthy-esque devotionals.
Big B, little b and their Georgia kin experienced the joy of jumping into a huge crunchy leaf pile, making leaf angels, and basking in the shade and raining leaves of the changing trees. We read The Giving Tree a lot during the trip, resonating deep in the heart of our eldest, who called his favorite climbing tree "Mama Tree" and talked to her every day.
More tree love: deep into the swampland on a brisk four-wheeler ride, we found this incredible cypress wonderland.
At our family reunion on Saturday, we hosted a children's craft table. I braided raffia throughout the trip in preparation for more leaf crowns. Papa and the boys went on a leaf-hunting expedition and collected the most beautiful fall leaves I've ever seen. The kids were crowned, created leaf rubbings, and wrote their gratitudes on paper leaves.The most beautiful tree I saw over the weekend: the family tree. I am so lucky to have married into this family, and so thankful that my children have this kind of history and sense of home to revisit, connecting them to their roots.
After the reunion, we visited a dear friend's property, one of the most beautiful pieces of land I've ever stepped foot on. She took all of us on a magical four-wheeler ride just as the sun was setting. About twenty minutes into the ride, when all daylight was gone, she asked us to turn off our lights and engines. She told us about the forest fairies that help the trees grow and the flowers bloom. The fairies only come out on chilly nights when all is quiet. She told the children to watch out for them, glowing in the trees. We continued our ride, and sure enough, as we neared the creek, there they were--and our children were mesmerized. I am forever grateful for this sweet woman.
The morning we left, we helped Papa's grandma with another special tree, infusing us with Christmas spirit for the long ride home.
Driving away, we passed the orchard of pecan trees that finds its way into Papa's retirement dreams. Such a sense of peace is found between these branches.
Another Thanksgiving, come and gone. And I have never been more thankful for the gifts of my life than I am at this moment. Hoping you all had a restful holiday filled with pause enough to count your blessings.


kathygilkey said...

gosh..., you make me want to go back and do thanksgiving all over again!

Mama Bird said...

Finally had a chance to read this beautiful post... and so glad I did! I love your connection to so many gorgeous trees. What an amazing experience for the boys, to be surrounded in such beauty, to find such gratitude in nature. Please keep posting your lovely insights & adventures!