Thursday, November 24, 2011

For These Things I Am Thankful

This is the third year in a row that I've shared my grandfather's beautiful words of Thankgiving.  May you all have a wonderful holiday filled with love and laughter, and may you recognize your many, many blessings.

The following poem was presented to the Woods Chapel congregation of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now known as the Community of Christ) by my grandfather, Stanley E. Curtis, on February 27, 1994, two months before he passed away.

"I am a farmer and a minister, and I see all these things that God has made and they are good.
  • To know that out under the ice and cold of winter, there are tender shoots of wheat that will emerge in the warmth of spring and produce a golden harvest next summer
  • To watch a baby calf being born, struggle to its feet and find nourishment at its mother's side
  • To ride the crest of the Missouri River in an aluminum canoe and sense the power of millions of gallons of water searching its way to the gulf 1000 miles away
  • To ice skate to school when the roads were to slick for cars or school buses
  • To wade waist deep in the Little Blue River searching by hand for fish hiding under snags of tree root - and finding them
  • To watch very fragile soybean plants push up huge clods of dirt as they emerge in the spring
  • To see a buck deer with a three-foot wide rack standing in my pasture looking exactly like a Hartford Insurance ad
  • To watch a doe raise a pair of twins later on in the spring and summer in that same pasture
  • To ride a sled down a half-mile long hill with family and friends after a new-fallen snow
  • To be up early enough for most of my life to watch the sunrise
  • To watch rivers overflow their banks covering thousands of acres of land causing millions of dollars of damage; yet realizing this has created some of the richest farm land in the world
  • To watch a nest of baby rabbits grow up less than 20 feet from the back door
  • To stand in a corn field on a warm summer afternoon and hear the corn grow
  • To watch my border collie bring a herd of cows from the pasture, up the road and into the barn to be milked
  • To smell the warm fresh milk on a cold winter morning
  • To hear the howl of a coyote on a moonlit night, and to see his shadow out the bedroom window
  • To have seen the Canadian Rockies, the Norwegian Fjords, the Hawaiian Islands, the Finger Lakes of New York, the Coast of Maine, the canals of Holland, and so many other places of breathtaking beauty
  • To see a wild tom turkey strut in the spring
  • To stand on a hillside and watch a summer thunderstorm move across the valley below
  • To taste fresh, tender sweet corn roasted in its husk over an open campfire
  • To stand in our storm cellar doorway and watch an approaching tornado pass harmlessly overhead after it had created a path of destruction ten miles long and a quarter mile wide
  • To smell a field of new-mown alfalfa hay
  • To sit under the hands of two very fine elders in administration and receive strength and healing
  • To feel the pain and yet the privilege of officiating at the funeral of a neighbor I had known and worked with for 45 years
  • To hear the scream of a mountain lion and see just ahead two huge eyes in the beam of my flashlight
  • To come home from seeing the fall colors in New England and see our own countryside ablaze with spectacular beauty
  • To see forty young friends show up to help move property out of harm's way as floods threatened
  • To watch our 12-year old daughter lead her 2000 pound Holstein into the winner's circle at the state fair
  • To stand before you this morning to testify of the overwhelming power of God's presence in my life, in you my friends, and in all of nature
From these and a Host of other experiences, I can truly say, I see all these things that God has made and they are beautiful."
Happy Thanksgiving, and God Bless.

3 comments:

A Day That Is Dessert said...

This is really beautiful - thank you so much for sharing your Grandfather's words.

I hope you're having a wonderful holiday weekend! xoxo

Paula said...

How poetic! I read it twice! What a treasure to pass down to your children and grandchildren.

Shelda said...

That's really wonderful, Kristin. What a great memory to hold!