The great God sits the rim of the universe, his long legs dangling over the edge swinging kid-like, back and forth, he’s watching, listening…
My father will look around the ornate table he and my mother bought years ago, a table large enough for the family that has grown to include grandchildren and their mothers. He’ll catch each of our eyes for a mere twinkling and then tears will pool his aging sockets as slack-jawed wonder shoots hot through his marrow – how’d I get so lucky?
He will then take my mother’s hand, our signal to do the same with the blood kin beside us and my father will bow his head and close his eyes and raise the song of harvest home. I no longer close my eyes, not in dumb rebellion, but for fear of missing something here, even one breath. While my father extols the leader triumphant, I will look around the great table at our lives and echo his refrain – how’d we get so lucky?
That word – lucky – a dice-roll of letters that can hold both wheat and tares together sown for as the table will fat with decent health and deviled eggs and some-day-dreams, it will also lean of loved ones here no more and pang with disappointments too dark to name and owl with questions like who, who, who am I? The joy and the sorrow are one, inseparable, stitched, all the world is God’s own field. There will no doubt be turkey on the table, but the real birds in the room are ducks, each of us, one and all, a brace honking out our best gratitude in calls loud and soft with tears on our cheeks and pumpkin pie on our minds, witnesses that yes, for one more year God our maker doth provide, seldom if ever as we’d prefer but always sufficient, always enough. And so we’ll squeeze one another’s hands as my father says amen and then babies-no-longer will lean in and pass the rolls their grandmother makes, while brothers will laugh again like boys as our wives sit close and talk with tenured voices, and my father and mother will rest from their labors, basking in the unmerited warmth that keeps this world, as outside ere the winter storms begin. Beyond frosting glass a mustering of angels sweep, back and forth, peering into our cockeyed lives, flapping with envy at the powerful gift of being alive...their voices ride the wind what a bunch of lucky ducks!
The great God sits the rim of the universe, his long legs dangling over the edge swinging kid-like, back and forth…he is watching, listening to a fowl gathering lucky he forgets not his own.