This Thanksgiving, I give thanks to the One who made the woods, leaves, light, but above all the ones who told me to not give up, I’ll be praying for you, I love you, and that you are made for much more. I can’t wait to dance the street of gold knowing we’ve made it together.
The light streamed in the panelled windows. The table was set. Candle light danced against the walls and the flames swayed in the sunset glow. That fresh, crisp and raw smell of the woods wafted through the air, at least that’s what we mono-season urban dwellers imagined it would be. We had never seen such leaves before, eucalyptus and ferns, what talk about the woods! A wreathe on a summer’s day? Santa would have thought us mad! But friendship, dreams, love and imagination have a power that I have come to realise defies all logic for reasons utterly inconceivable.
The food on the table, from cold cuts to meats, corn chips to pasta, tea loafs to fruit tarts, the spread of home-made food filled the heart and stomach even before the feasting began. With all the fussing, even if there was, no one was quite paying attention to it because we had pretty much already set the mood ourselves!
The silencer hushed the crowd, “She’s here! Cheer when she walks in!” Her hair flowed in long tresses with some locks braided and fastened in a crown where more began to flow. Sort of like a bohemian charm with just enough spunk. Her dress flowed right down to her ankles, just long enough for it to swish and sway with each step. The sleeves draped gently, bell-shaped around her wrists. The prints of her dress, just like her personality, an array of colour, edge and femininity somehow all flawlessly mixed into one. Cheers went up together with shouts of ‘Happy Birthday!’ clapping and whistling.
The party had begun! All seated, knives and forks clanged away at the inviting food in between interludes of chatter and laughing.
What do you think about most when you imagine a special night? Or some celebration, rare occasion to remember? For most, we think of the people that will make the night memorable, a menu that will impress, some decorations and music that will set the mood.
Well, the food was amazing. Whoever came up with ‘Yummy, yummy, yummy, I’ve got love in my tummy’ was right. Food cooked with passion is to partake in and savour deeply the passion it was prepared with.
Decorations? Let’s just say Pinterest would be proud. Wreathe, woods, candles and soft light…they make Christmas come before December and campfires possible on a tropical island! The smell of the woods was like the anticipation of a nearing future, the adventure of discovering the unknown and the courage to charter them.
The true music? It was the tune of all our lives, one that sung us out of our darkness and delivered us into a place of light and freedom. It is not loud nor flaunting. It hums like a gentle breeze that caresses your cheek and lets you know it’s there at the most unsuspecting moments. It stops you in your tracks and wells up your heart with gratefulness.
And the people…they were the ones we loved most. Speeches are empty without having really lived what you said. The best speeches are those you find no suitable words for because all has been said by the way we live our lives. At the table were seated people who shared their lives, given and received, given and received over and over again. Seated next to each other, across from one another was a part of each of us, a reflection of ourselves because our lives were so shared they sometimes became one. At the table were seated choices that said love over hatred, light over darkness, forgiveness over remembrance, trust
over suspicion, hope over despair, fight over defeat, you over me.
At this table feasting with us, though unseen was the only presence that truly mattered – the One who made the woods, leaves, light, the hands that clapped, the voices that sang, the tears that flowed and the laughter that bellowed…the One who gave His life so we could truly live. He’s the one that made the night truly memorable.
In collaboration with Lee Su Wern. Thank you for this beautiful piece you wrote.
Special thank you to the Sjostrands’ family, the Wrights and Lizzie Hill. Thank you for allowing me into your lives. You have been such a blessing and a pillar of strength in a time of need.