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QUINTESSENCE

Gratitudes

THE DEPTHS
When the white fog burns off,
the abyss of everlasting light
is revealed. The last cobwebs
of fog in the
black firtrees are flakes
of white ash in the world's hearth.

Cold of the sea is counterpart
to this great fire. Plunging
out of the burning cold of ocean
we enter an ocean of intense
noon. Sacred salt
sparkles on our bodies.

After mist has wrapped us again
in fine wool, may the taste of salt
recall to us the great depths about us.
- Denise Levertov

Raise a glass to friendship. Gratitude is the heart of the season. Gratitude for the year's harvest, for good fortune. Earth's breath cold and strong across our hearths. Welcome the coming season's wintry respite, the chance to lean back into the cold and silent nights.

I am grateful in this month that marks the end of autumn and tips to the end of the year. Grateful for so many experiences and gifts, but especially for the steady compass, the lighthouse shining, of friendship. I count myself fortunate to have original and authentic, deeply creative people - my "diamonds in the rough" - as intimate friends. What they possess as souls of intellect and compassion is given freely to those they love. They are funny, wise, steadfast, resilient. Like cedars they stand tall in the storms, and like willows bend but do not break beneath the fiercest wind. The roots cling, collective strength an expression of humble grace and hardiness. The shelter of friendship, my joy among these fabulous characters, offers me a tender place to reflect, recoup from losses, share the hilarious, celebrate the rare.

So my friends - and you know who you are - this Thanksgiving I am profoundly thankful for you. You are the rare find, the nonpareil without equal. Life in your company is full of wonder. Thank you for your presence in my life. Salut.
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