As we either leave or say goodbye to family members, taking the obligatory photograph we experience the unique feeling which is an American Thanksgiving. For me, this is a combination of both gratitude and sadness. Gratitude for once again, seeing all the smiling faces which make up our family, their interaction together, sharing stories, moments or just being together. Sadness, for the separation we are going to be feeling again, once they have closed the car doors, turned on the GPS and dropped out of sight yet again.
However the sadness of separation is not always a bad thing. It makes us reflect on the gift these people are in our lives, what makes up our close family and a reminder of how God has bound us all in love.

The image below is of a walk taken with the family over Thanksgiving as an older cousin informs his junior of the wonders of nature. We all have moments to treasure, and God now gives us new ones to consider during the afterglow of Thanksgiving as we enter that most wonderful period of Advent. Preparing ourselves for the most important arrival.

The Loving Cousin


Hand placed gently as details of the scene are whispered,

With a kind, soothing and inquisitive voice.

Borne only of love and care,

Stooping to engage with the wonder of an animal in its stall,

On this winter day.


Another fleeting moment of grateful thanksgiving.


Photograph and Poem © 2016 Michael J. Cunningham

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