We put together a collection of poems, quotes, and excerpts to begin your meal on a grateful note.

1. "You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you." 
Sarah Ban Breathnach

walter benjamin quote

I didn’t know I was grateful
for such late-autumn
bent-up cornfields 

yellow in the after-harvest             
sun before the                        
cold plow turns it all over 

into never.            
I didn’t know                        
I would enter this music 

that translates the world             
back into dirt fields                         
that have always called to me 

as if I were a thing              
come from the dirt,                          
like a tuber, 

or like a needful boy. End             
Lonely days, I believe. End the exiled                          
and unraveling strangeness.

"Home," by Bruce Weigl

John F Kennedy Quote

5. "
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. It turns problems into gifts, failures into successes, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. It can turn an existence into a real life, and disconnected situations into important and beneficial lessons. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
Melody Beattie

My heart is like a singing bird
       Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;
My heart is like an apple-tree
       Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
       That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
       Because my love is come to me.

Excerpt from “A Birthday,” by Christina Rossetti

7. “I made cranberry sauce, and when it was done put it into a dark blue bowl for the beautiful contrast. I was thinking, doing this, about the old ways of gratitude: Indians thanking the deer they'd slain, grace before supper, kneeling before bed. I was thinking that gratitude is too much absent in our lives now, and we need it back, even if it only takes the form of acknowledging the blue of a bowl against the red of cranberries.” 
Elizabeth Berg, excerpted from Open House

Albert Schweitzer Quote

Thanks—thanks—thanks—for the candles

lit on the table—the dried twigs—
the autumn leaves in the blue Chinese vase—
thanks—for the faces—our faces—in this low light.

Excerpted from “Thanksgiving,” by Tim Nolan

Ah! on Thanksgiving day, when from East and from West, 

From North and from South comes the pilgrim and guest; 
When the gray-haired New Englander sees round his board 
The old broken links of affection restored, 
When the care-wearied man seeks his mother once more, 
And the worn matron smiles where the girl smiled before, 
What moistens the lip and what brightens the eye? 
What calls back the past, like the rich Pumpkin pie? […]

Then thanks for thy present! none sweeter or better 
E’er smoked from an oven or circled a platter! 
Fairer hands never wrought at a pastry more fine, 
Brighter eyes never watched o’er its baking, than thine!
And the prayer, which my mouth is too full to express, 
Swells my heart that thy shadow may never be less, 
That the days of thy lot may be lengthened below, 
And the fame of thy worth like a pumpkin-vine grow, 
And thy life be as sweet, and its last sunset sky 
Golden-tinted and fair as thy own Pumpkin pie!  

Excerpted from "The Pumpkin," by John Greenleaf Whittier

Graphics generated courtesy of BeHappy.me