Thanks for all these things, and so much more
The late Reporter Publisher W.H. Cooke, who died in July of 1991, wrote the following Thanksgiving column in 1989. It is reprinted here as a tribute to his memory.—B.C. T hanksgiving Day brings hope that your day will be fulfilling as well as full-feeling. Every day should be a day of Thanksgiving. We give thanks to the Pilgrims who established this annual Day, giving all of us the gentle nudge we need to give thanks, and do we ever have so much to be thankful for!
There are many problems in our lives and in this world, some small, some economy size, some large and some giant size. But in the face of them all we can be thankful and remember that old Irish prayer, “May the wind always be at our backs.” So we give thanks for our blessings, for important things like love and life and family and friends and peace, yes, and strife; remembering that conquering trouble is a part of living and teaches us the value of giving.
We are grateful for so many things, “I am sure we should all be as happy as kings.” We give thanks for modern technology and commonplace things, for bites and bytes and megabytes, minuscules and fishes’ schools, for cursors that blip and pancakes that flip, for compact discs, hard disks and floppy disks, for hard drives and car drives, for silicon chips and cow chips and merchant ships; and for shaloms and salmon, sales and sails, puppy dog tails and wedding veils.
Lord of hosts, to Thee we sing praises for schools and pools, for Shakespeare and shallots, for skates, for shipmates and loving lifemates. We are thankful for harvests and harpists and hearths and harbors, for heart surgery and health and a bit of wealth, along with harmonicas and hacks and old wooden shacks.
We give thankful praise for blue jeans that fade and dreams that refuse to, for bees and cheese and honey and a little money. Oh God, our help in ages past, our hope for time to come, we praise in song our feelings of joy for progress and proms, promotions and prose and prologues and Proust and Faust, for a Pope who is Polish and jokes that are not, for “Your baby’s just perfect” and for “Your surgery was a complete success” and for “Okay, you’re hired.”
God of Grace and God of Glory, we bow in humble praise for free elections, for elephants and for Einstein, eulogies and elves and elms; along with praise for simple things like care and hair, bald heads and door knobs and tennis lobs. We give thanks for rebates and debates, for lower taxes and double-blade axes; and “For God so loved the world,” and “When in the course of human events,” and for “They lived happily ever after” and for “Boy, the way Glenn Miller played.”
Our Father’s God to Thee, author of liberty, of Thee we sing as we offer thanks this day for red sails in the sunset and once in a blue moon, for yellow submarines, and purple mountain majesties; for interns and intermezzos, for the EMS and RMH and the people who staff them. And for know-how, and wow!
We give thanks for blood banks and river banks and strong banks, butterf lies in the air and sometimes in our stomachs, atoms and ants and the time-tested assurance that “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” And grateful hearts for healing beyond hurt and love beyond measure, and duty above and beyond.
Our thankful praise, oh Great God of the Universe, for watchful eyes, and weddings and winks and woks; for solar heat and lemon sole, anything chocolate and anything with low calories; for homes and homecomings, for crayons and Christmas, and for fleece as white as snow and flamingos and flags and patriotism.
Most of all, we are thankful this day and every day that nothing can ever separate us from the Love of God. May your Thanksgiving Day be truly a day of thanks-giving as we count our blessings, remembering how fortunate we are, regardless of our circumstances.