Giving Thanks

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

A few days ago I left my office and found the sky awash in glorious shades of pinks, oranges, blues and purples — an unusually spectacular November sunset.  Desperate to capture the vision before it faded, I raced home.  Only a five minute drive yet endless.  In the house, I grabbed my Canon and rushed onto our deck.  In the short time since I’d walked out from work, the sky had already changed.  Still, I was able to snatch an image or two.

I love the sky, especially during the changing minutes of sunrise and sunset.  The  particularly beautiful images are a gift of nature.  I’m grateful that such brilliance still graces our world.

When I see such sights I think of early Impressionists — Manet, Renoir, Monet and others.  These brilliant men worked with their passion.  They brought nature’s light onto the painted canvas and created a whole new style of painting.


I believe that we’ve all been given a gift in life, some natural talent that carries with it a strong passion.  Some find that passion in art or in the written word.  Others find it in music or the study of science, in medicine or cooking, in animals, children, technology…the list is endless.

Pursuing our own passion lets us more fully develop our inborn talent, however humble or grand.  In that way we give back that which we have been given.

It is the ultimate gesture of gratitude. 

5 thoughts on “Giving Thanks

  1. Deb, I love your last paragraph. When I was teaching I felt I must give my best to my students that they may then follow their passion with the bits of wisdom learned in class.

    One Thanksgiving, in a class the day before Thanksgiving, I found a rolled piece of paper tied with a ribbon on my lectern. When I opened it, it was a poem one of the student’s in class had written about how thankful she/he was for all I’d given in the class.

    I was humbled. And I’ve kept the poem framed, first on my office desk at school and now at home. I look at it often and give thanks for students like her/him.

    I’m sure she/he’s been successful in life.

  2. What a precious gift to receive, a treasure.

    I’ve often thought that I would love to have been in one of your classes! Teachers never know the full influence they have on a life. In your case, I’m sure it was significant!

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