The Hickory behind our building stands taller than her peers, and this morning her golden leaves were backlit like a girl's hair showing highlights in the sun. Catching the sun's rays, the leaves transformed into a transparent aura surrounding her branches. The slightest breeze made them shimmer, and they began to fall like butterflies fluttering their wings, descending for a rest. For that moment, I am thankful
Later in the day, I walked to my neighbor's house for a visit. On my way back, I heard a hissing sound low in the understory trees to my left, along the roadside. A quick glance revealed a Carolina Wren behind the leaves and branches. Perhaps she was the same wren who nested on my porch last summer. The feathers bore a pattern of rich dark brown and beige with lines of black spots on the margins of the tail and wings. The tail was upright, as wrens and chipmunks usually hold their tails. I watched for a minute to see what the wren would do when another gave the boisterous call of wrens behind me. Such enthusiasm for a bird smaller than my hand! I turned to look, and when I glanced back, the wren I had been observing was gone.
Later still, I drove to a friend's house for Thanksgiving dinner. Some mutual friends arrived, and we visited, awaiting the arrival of his family from Georgia. A houseful of his parents, siblings and nephews, and nieces ate dinner with us interlopers, some of us strangers to them. Then I built a fire in the backyard. We gathered around the fire, guitars were pulled out of vehicles, and the singing began. After a bit, we all departed to separate homes. What a day for which to give thanks.