“She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” — Toni Morrison, Beloved

The fun, frolic, and mischief of autumn transitions – just like that – to the reflective “gathering of gratitude” that is Thanksgiving. I love the contrast and look forward to the turning of the page that welcomes in the tradition of devoting a day, a week, a month…to giving thanks.

A month seems hardly enough when I consider the many people, things, experiences, insights, and moments for which I am grateful. Gratitude isn’t something I “do” and check off; it’s a chosen way of being that helps me to live my messy and complex human experience with more joy, and to reframe my life’s hard edges as acceptance acquired, patience learned, challenges met, and yes, wisdom gained.

Perhaps the very best thing about being-in-gratitude is that it’s there when I need it – a perpetual refueling station that turns my fragmented attention to what enriches and sustains me. I can go there at any time and in any moment when I am stuck in a “woulda-coulda-shoulda” an “if only,” or a yesterday that glimmered with potential but fizzled out.

I know that I am not alone in this.    

During this month of communal thanks-giving, I am thinking especially of the several, utterly unique women who are woven into the fabric of my life:

Those in the great beyond who grew and shaped me, and

Those who helped me to understand and to heal

Those in the here and now whose shoulders I lean on and from whose strength I carry forth

Those whose hands I count on when mine are simply not enough  

Those whose hearts open up a wide space for me when mine is seeking or sad, and

Those with whom I dance…and dance

You know who you are.  

We come to one another raw and real. From there we gather: we listen, hear, create, challenge, console and conjure…and from that newly-alive place, we carry on. And on, and on.

I am so grateful.

The literary tour de force, the late, beloved epitome of a wise woman, Toni Morrison, got it completely right. As women, we gather the pieces for and with each other, and then make meaning of them. Listen again:

“She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It’s good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind.” — Toni Morrison, Beloved

It is good indeed, a blessing beyond measure.  A large measure of my thanks-giving.

In all the Right Order

9 thoughts on ““She Gather Me, Man”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s