Marvin Repinski: A nation affirms a virtue: Gratitude

Published 5:29 pm Friday, November 26, 2021

“The exceeding beauty of the earth, in her splendor of life, yields a new thought with every petal.”  (Richard Jefferies)

This is a week that may draw us to turkeys, pumpkin pie, and a lot of travel. The company is so very sweet. We find ourselves digging out the very best memories and so many are positive. Our nation has made it possible to celebrate with thankful hearts all that sustains us and plants care for people who may be hurting.

We share many tables either in homes, apartments, bus-stops, trains, airlines, or neighborhood restaurants (I’m thinking of Kenny’s Oak Grill). It resonates with what I am presently reading.

The novel “In Our Time” by Ernest Hemingway sets the pattern of this Thanksgiving. I picked up on this story:

“When it was cooked, Nick re-greased the skillet. He used all the batter. It made another big flapjack and one smaller one. Nick ate a big flapjack and the smaller one, covered with apple butter. About the small cake, he folded it over twice, wrapped it in oiled paper, and put it in his shirt pocket. He cut bread for two sandwiches. He found a big onion, sliced it in two, and made onion sandwiches.”

“He was prepared now, like guests at our tables to leave the company and headed with his friends to complete the day of conversation, any sharing of the routines of past family life. It was time to part, fortified with the pleasantries, hugs, and sad recalling of those no longer with the family.  But there was yet a time of refreshing his adventures.  This time, fishing. On leaving, he called to the young persons in the crowd: “Care to come along? I have enough fishing tackle for some company.”

My memories, like many who read my column, may see in the crowd of family and friends combining tears and laughter. We agreed the loss of our friend Grant, who was loaded with political jokes, has “left us.” We recalled to each other the large number of people who came out to honor him at the funeral service.

Many of us, I believe, think on the spirit of Thanksgiving; acknowledging our aspirations, to extend its environment. We wish for our experience to continue. We believe that creative deeds will result in being thankful. For example, people living with faith will not be the ones engaged in road rage or assaulting others.

In a word study I’m undertaking, I noted that the word “blessed” literally means, “to be congratulated.” How deeply we are honored to say to others, especially in this time of so many volcanic and confusing issues and events: “I bless you!” As my grandpa used to say, “I need all the help I can get!”

In these days of gratefulness, we are a people who wish to close the gaps, heal fractions, and find common purpose. We need to be agreeable on many things, but why be disagreeable with resentment and blame. My prayer is that a Thanksgiving environment be extended into our future months.  “Thank-you” matters.

An example may be drawn from the life of the Russian author, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, an author known for life-affirming books, receiving the Tempelton Award and stressing the importance of negotiating. When an exchange of pleasantries among gifts was given, the Russian representative presented the American diplomat with recognition that could be seen as conviction.

A picture of Jesus teaching a multitude of people was received, accompanied with a note stating:  “Surprise!”