The Mist and All

My favorite season is fall. My favorite anthology/collection is “One Thousand Beautiful Things” that my dad passed on to me.

And my favorite poem in the book is “The Mist and All.” I’m sure I’ve shared it on my blogs before but here it is again because today is a misty November day and this poem washes it in loveliness.

The Mist and All

by Dixie Willson

I like the fall
The mist and all
I like the night owl’s lonely call
And wailing sound
Of wind around

I like the gray
November day
And bare, dead boughs that coldly sway
Against my pane
I like the rain

I like to sit
And laugh at it
And tend my cozy fire a bit
I like the fall
The mist and all

My first love: We Gather Together

The one that started my love of Thanksgiving carols. Way back in high school.

It was written in the 16th century by Dutch Protestants (of which I am one, although I don’t go quite that far “way back”) to celebrate the Netherlands liberation from Spain. Until the defeat of the Spanish forces, the church had been forbidden to gather for worship.

Pretty sure we sang this at almost every Thanksgiving Day church service. Yep—those Dutch Reformed sorts had worship services Reformation Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. Then we gave our poor pastors a break until Good Friday, Easter, Ascension Day, Pentecost… . Go ahead and ask me if I ever saw the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade growing up.

The point is—gathering to worship and rejoice and eat and give thanks is such a wonderful gift, and we don’t realize it until the gift is withdrawn. May you gather this Thanksgiving, whether it is with family, friends, or strangers. And be blessed!

Everybody eats when they come to my house

This “everybody eats” dictum applies to my extended family gatherings any time of year, but nowhere is our innate desire to feed loved ones on display more than Thanksgiving.

Listen to the song and be warned. Come to my house and I WILL feed you.

While this isn’t technically a Thanksgiving carol, honestly, what is? The definition is fluid.

Enjoy the great blessing of food and the gathering together to partake of it!

Enjoy the great blessing of food and the gathering together to partake of it!

Heap High the Farmer’s Wintry Hoard

I’ve been listening to this song for well over a decade without fully understanding all the lyrics. Finally last year I looked it up. Still the only song on my Thanksgiving playlist that I haven’t memorized. But do I belt out that first line! (Before subsiding to a sort of mumbling hum for the rest.)

Heap High the Farmer’s Wintry Hoard (John Greenleaf Whittier)

Heap High the Farmer’s Wintry Hoard (John Greenleaf Whittier
1 Heap high the farmer's wintry hoard!
Heap high the golden corn!
No richer gift has autumn poured
from out her lavish horn!
Through vales of grass and meads of flowers
our plows their furrows made,
While on the hills the sun and showers
of changeful April played.

2 We dropped the seed over hill and plain
beneath the sun of May,
And frightened from our sprouting grain
the robber crows away.
All through the long, bright days of June
its leaves grew green and fair, 
And waved in hot midsummer's noon
its soft and yellow hair.

3 And now with autumn's moonlit eyes,
It's harvest-time has come,
We pluck away the frosted leaves,
and bear the treasure home.
Oh let the good old crop adorn
the hills our fathers (forbears) trod;
Still let us, for his (this) golden corn,
send up our thanks to God!

For the Beauty of the Earth

I grew up singing this Folliot Pierpoint hymn in church, with a different tune. That one was fine for congregational singing,

But this lyrical, lilting, soaring choral version is a delight!

    1. For the beauty of the earth,
    For the glory of the skies,
    For the love which from our birth
    Over and around us lies.

    Refrain: Lord of all to Thee we raise
    This our hymn of grateful praise.

    2. For the wonder of each hour,
    Of the day and of the night,
    Hill and vale, and tree and flower,
    Sun and moon, and stars of light.(Refrain)

    3. For the joy of human love,
    Brother, sister, parent, child,
    Friends on earth and friends above,
    For all gentle thoughts and mild.(Refrain)

    4. For the church, that evermore
    Lifteth holy hands above,
    Offering up on every shore
    Her pure sacrifice of love.(Refrain)

    5. For Thyself, best Gift Divine.
    To our race so freely given,
    For that great, great love of Thine,
    Peace on earth and joy in Heaven.(Refrain)

    Let All Things Now Living

    It’s November and I love November and Thanksgiving songs and atmospheric late autumn photos.

    Today is also election day and some of us might be stressing. “So why,” my efficient self asks my rather slothful self, “not post a Thanksgiving song that you love and a photo you like, and emphasize the absolute wonder and delight of creation along with a reminder that ultimately this stuff isn’t under our control?” And my slothful self replies, “Let’s do it! It means I don’t have to get creative and write something original!”

    So here is a photo:

    And the lyrics to a song:

    Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving
    To God our Creator triumphantly raise,
    Who fashioned and made us, protected and stayed us,
    By guiding us on to the end of our days.
    God’s banners are o’er us, Pure light goes before us,
    A pillar of fire shining forth in the night,
    Til shadows have vanished, all fearfulness banished,
    As forward we travel from light into light.

    By law God enforces. The stars in their courses,
    The sun in its orbit, obediently shine;
    The hills and the mountains, the rivers and fountains,
    The deeps of the ocean proclaim God divine,
    We too should be voicing our love and rejoicing,
    With glad adoration a song let us raise,
    Till all things now living unite in thanksgiving
    To God in the highest, hosanna and praise.

    And a link to the song:

    And a happy November 8/Election Day/Thanksgiving month to you.