Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
I was amused to read a story that was reported in "The Week" magazine. Apparently the poet, Simon Armitage was giving a poetry recital. Before reading one of his poems, which contained some rather bad language, he said, "I’d like to just warn my mum and dad, who are in the audience, that my next poem features some words you’ve most likely never heard before." His father stood up and said, "Would those words be ‘thank you’, by any chance?"
Thank you.Two tiny, little words, which are incredibly important, and yet are so easy to forget. And it seems to me, as we hit the months of October and November we enter a season of thankfulness.
Firstly, we thank God for the harvest, and all the many wonderful things that he has given us to eat and to enjoy. I don't grow any vegetables in my garden and yet I have been on the receiving end of all sorts of good and tasty things: runner beans, marrows, courgettes, more runner beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and yet more runner beans and so on. Every single thing has been gratefully received and eaten. Thank you. And thank you to all the wonderful people who take the time and energy to grow such things and to those who work the land, especially here, in the Exe Valley.
It is also worth mentioning those in our churches and villages who keep the tradition of Harvest alive. Thank you to those who not only arrange Harvest Festivals, but also village games and Harvest Suppers. Thank you.
Then, as we come to November we enter another season of thankfulness, as we remember, those who have fought and died in conflict. It is worth stopping a while (even if only for two minutes) to remember the tremendous human cost and sacrifice of men and women in the last century or so, who have fought for our freedom. Another poet, (not Simon Armitage, but Siegfried Sassoon) who in his evocative poem, "Autumn" imagines the soldiers, fighting in a wood, in October, during World War 1:
"Their lives are like the leaves
Scattered in flocks of ruin, tossed and blown
Along the westering furnace flaring red."
And so let us say thank you – and be grateful that we have seasons and occasions that prompt us to do so, because:
"All good gifts around us (our food, our families, our friends, our freedom)
Are sent from heaven above.
So, thank the Lord. So, thank the Lord,
For all his love."