‘A Grand Thanksgiving Chorus’
We search our hearts this Thanksgiving for what fills us with gratitude. Many among us suffer in myriad ways, families and friends are separated by pandemic restrictions, and we easily forget that just weeks ago we marveled at the colors of autumn that preceded the seasonal erasure of color from the New England landscape. There has been good amongst the tragic, more beauty than ugliness around us.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox, a late 19th-early 20th Century poet best known for her lines, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone,” reminds us in this poem of gratitude that the worries of the world are not new, but ones that generations have struggled to overcome: and yet there are always, should we choose to look closely, many reasons to be thankful.
We offer you her poem for thought, and may your harvest baskets overflow with thankfulness. Even in 2020.
By Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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 hang 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.
Farseeing 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.