Sometimes life give us single things to deal with, but more often we get them in a sandwich. This month is gives us one with some of the richest ingredients. The fillings this month include Veterans Day and Thanksgiving and our democracy in action; the general election. These events show us what it means to be catholic, to be grateful for all God has given us, and the reminder of how Americans are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice when called to do so.
As we head into Thanksgiving, perhaps the perfect time to reflect on all we are and strive to become. St. John Paul II called each day a “day of conversion” where we can move a little closer to God. As most of us make our journey’s in small steps, his call makes great sense to me.

This time of reflection, of healing, of family time needs to be spread with another filling, one which is sometimes forgotten in the celebration and organization of Thanksgiving. The feeling of gratitude.

The Nest at Thanksgiving

Sitting there empty on a late Fall day,

A bird’s nest presents itself as a waking image.


as unimagined owners now gone,

backlit by a warming sun rising to greet me,

from my nest on the windows other side.

A family raised and dispersed to warmer climes

leaves us with memories of their growing,

falling out of trees, feeding times and love.



a warmth glows persistently,

fueled by thoughts and the lumber surrounding my nest.

Felt by the fire of family affection.


Watercolor and Poem © 2016 Michael J. Cunningham

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