Gratitude, rest, and an old camp song… That is what I’m thinking about this morning. I am grateful for so many specific things–and having you as a reader is one of them. Whether I’ve known you for years or have yet to meet you, I appreciate that you’ve become part of my community.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays. I love the traditions tied to food, family, and the harvest season. Even though our gathering will be much smaller than usual this year, we’re planning to make all the foods we love, including roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and a sweet potato casserole with brown sugar and pecans on top. We’ll set the table with my grandmother’s china and remember all the tables it has graced in years past. We hope to listen to music, do a puzzle, and play some games. We will rest.
And the old camp song? We’ll sing it. My children learned it at Camp Tecumseh, a YMCA camp with woods, hills, lakes, a river, and kids and counselors from all over the world. Years ago, after we had sung that song before dinner one evening, I wrote a poem about it, told from my middle son’s perspective. I thought I’d share it with you this Thanksgiving. I feel it speaks to every faith tradition.
Copyright 2020, Cynthia Argentine
I learned this song at summer camp –
Oh the Lord’s been good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need:
The sun and the rain and the apple seed.
The Lord is good to me.
At evening time, when my brother, father, sister, mother
Surround me at the table
And the late autumn sun is setting
And its long, warm rays reach past the oak and the spruce
And slip through the kitchen’s west window
And wash our wooden table with golden light
And the buttered potatoes in the bowl are steaming
And the meat and the beans smell salty and rich
And I hear my brother’s deep bass
And my father’s quiet strength
And my sister’s joyful enthusiasm
And my mother’s sweet, strong melody
All joining with my young voice in this song
Then I feel and know it.
The Lord has been good
Wishing you wellness and peace,