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Caring For Small Gems

Fall in Kentucky is glorious. It is a blast of color against a baby-blue sky.
It is leaves crunching beneath your feet as you walk. Football games. Tailgating
parties. Pumpkins, haystacks, and shocks of corn. It is the crescendo of summer’s
symphony and one last thing: it is a reminder to prepare for what lies ahead.

Today the weather is cool and crisp. The oppressive heat
and humidity of summer are nothing more than a memory. I ran into a friend in
town this morning and our conversation inevitably turned to the weather.

“Don’t you just love this cooler weather?” I asked.

“Not really,” she sighed. “It means winter’s on the way.”

We finished our discussion, said goodbye, and I drove back
home, but I couldn’t stop thinking about my friend’s comment. By focusing on
the worries of the future she was ignoring the pleasures of the present. Too
often I do the same thing.

Thanksgiving is a time for taking mental inventory of our
blessings big and small. The larger ones are easier to spot: the promotion,
the new baby, the first house. But the smaller treasures, the ones that often
go unnoticed, are just as valuable. Things like the sound of a child’s laughter,
the warmth of a companion’s hand inside your own, the morning sun streaking
through the clouds, those are the small gems that we sometimes take for granted.

At its conception Thanksgiving wasn’t meant to be the biggest
sales event of the season…it was meant to be a day of gratitude. Who and what
are you thankful for?

A few years ago I went to a funeral that I’ve never forgotten.
There had been a disagreement over the inheritance and family members were bitterly
divided among themselves. Most of them weren’t speaking to each other and the
tension between them was thicker than river fog. As far as I know, they have
never made amends.

If there’s someone in your life who needs to hear “I love
you” or “I’m sorry,” shouldn’t you say it now? Don’t wait until the trees are
barren and the colors of fall are long forgotten. Don’t wait until it’s winter
and too late.

Love them now.

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