The wood stove is once again fired up and calling you to pay attention to it.
You sense an urge to make something out of wood for the season.
The short days call you outside to enjoy the chilly warmth of the sun riding low in the southern sky.
The trees, now bare of leaves, reveal hillsides and vistas that they have hidden safely from your eyes during the past three seasons. You notice trees that you never saw before, and marvel at their shapes that had been covered by their foliage. You begin to think of sources for next year's firewood.
You decide to split more wood even though you have enough for the season. The ax handle feels right in your hands at this time of year, and the cool air refreshes your lungs with every swing.
The crows watch you from the treetops, and mock you as you miss a split. You look up at them and wonder if they're really that smart. They laugh some more.
You walk around, noticing the bark and the stems of trees, and mentally checking them off in your head. A stately white oak, the unnoticed ash...wonder how long before the borers kill it? A patch of hemlocks that still hide their treasures. And there's that little white pine that you see every winter, but never during the rest of the year...will it ever break through the canopy and elbow its way to maturity?
Squirrels hurry out of your way and bark at you to get along, they've got work to do. And so you do, and as you head back to home, you smell the wood smoke from the stove and think about the fire, calling you back for another piece of fuel.
As you come into the warm air, almost too warm now that you've been out, you smell the turkey and the pies in the oven. After finding just the right piece of wood for the slumbering fire, you settle into the rocker and run your hands along the smooth, warm wooden armrests. The curl at the end almost feels alive in your palm.
And in this moment, as you gaze at the fire, before the house fills up with your loved ones and their noisy laughter, you give thanks for the little piece of the world you've been given. And you make a commitment in your heart to try to be better next year, to earn the blessings you've been given in this life.
And when you awaken, the Detroit Lions are losing again. Yep, it's Thanksgiving.