A Poem for Thanksgiving

Today, being the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday, I want to share a beautiful Thanksgiving poem written by one of our cousins south of the border, Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Wilcox was born in Wisconsin and lived from 1850 to 1919. This is just one of many beautiful poems she penned. As you ponder her words, reflect on the many blessings in your own life and give God thanks.

We Boomers have much for which to be thankful. Most of us enjoyed a privileged childhood and were given opportunities that were not available to previous generations. Many of us have had the enriching experiences of post-secondary education or have travelled to far away places. Materially speaking, we have achieved a standard of living higher than our parents.

But we have had our ups and downs too. Because we are such a large cohort, we have had to work incredibly hard in order to compete for good jobs. Sometimes this has cost us our marriages and our health, or led to estrangement from children and siblings. We have also witnessed horrible suffering around the world among those far less fortunate than ourselves, including our Indigenous relations and people of colour in our own backyard.

So maybe we need to be thankful for the fact that we have survived this long!

What are YOU thankful today? We all have some blessings in our lives and we can all BE A BLESSING to someone else. Read Wilcox’s poem below and consider where and how you are being called to practise the art of gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!


We walk on starry fields of white
   And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
   We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
   To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
   Of pleasures sweet and tender.

Our cares are bold and push their way
   Upon our thought and feeling.
They hand about us all the day,
   Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
   We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives,
   And conquers if we let it.

There’s not a day in all the year
   But holds some hidden pleasure,
And looking back, joys oft appear
   To brim the past’s wide measure.
But blessings are like friends, I hold,
   Who love and labor near us.
We ought to raise our notes of praise
   While living hearts can hear us.

Full many a blessing wears the guise
   Of worry or of trouble;
Far-seeing is the soul, and wise,
   Who knows the mask is double.
But he who has the faith and strength
   To thank his God for sorrow
Has found a joy without alloy
   To gladden every morrow.

We ought to make the moments notes
   Of happy, glad Thanksgiving;
The hours and days a silent phrase
   Of music we are living.
And so the theme should swell and grow
   As weeks and months pass o’er us,
And rise sublime at this good time,
   A grand Thanksgiving chorus.

This poem is in the public domain.

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