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A Time to Give Thanks

Category: Fraternity

Mindy Marshall

Gamma, Butler

I am one of those people who walks around being grateful everyday for my beautiful, wonderful, messy life and, most importantly, the people who are walking alongside me on this journey. I could go on for days about the blessings I am appreciative of, but I won't. Instead, I'm going to focus on this time of year, when I love to reflect on the smaller things, the little things that bring joy and gratefulness to my heart. I'm talking about autumn. Everything autumn.

The leaves! In all their orange, red, and yellow splendor! Hearing them crunch as I walk and looking up at them as they transform trees from earthy green to fiery, blazing paintings come to life. The pumpkins and gourds, those beautifully colored and strangely shaped vegetables (or are they fruits?) that appear in all shapes and sizes starting in September. Mums! They are so gorgeous and literally look like palettes of paint bursting from their pots. The squirrels, becoming bolder as they busy themselves with winter preparations - and yes, feasting on the pumpkins and gourds that I set out on my porch and in my window boxes. While on a Teams meeting just last week, I saw one of the little critters climb up my neighbor's tree with one of my mini-pumpkins in his mouth!

And speaking of pumpkins….I adore pumpkin EVERYTHING! Pumpkin spiced-lattes, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin pies, pumpkin-scented candles and air fresheners. Bon fires and fire pits, fire places being started up for the first time of the season, and hay rides and square dances in barns, haunted trails and houses, Halloween decorations….oh my heart wants to burst with excitement! To steal a phrase, our Lead Creative Claire White used to describe herself: I am a walking cliché when it comes to autumn. And I'm not afraid to say it! I am grateful for this time of year with all the magic it holds and the joy it brings.

Much like the Theta experience, it is a season, and one that evolves and changes. Yet, I can count on it, year after year, to enrich my life in new and unexpected ways. Turning a corner here, taking a new path there, it jumps out and surprises me, delights me, as I go about my journey. It reminds me to stop and take a moment, to reflect on the gifts that are all around me, and part of me, both the intangible and tangible. With a grateful heart I celebrate the bounty!