Thankful for “every cog and wheel” . . .

By: Amos S. Eno
Posted on:11/23/2011

Can you recognize which Americans throughout our nation’s history have been thankful for these many forms of America’s bounty?

This is the week in which we give thanks and many of us consume that “respectable bird, . . . a true original native of America,” the turkey.  We who work behind the scenes at the Resources First Foundation reflect upon all that we have to be thankful for in common with all Americans, and in particular a few whose words you might recognize . . .

We are thankful “for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,” for “a red maple plus a ruffed grouse” in the “autumn landscape,” for “brook trout . . . polished and muscular and torsional,” for the “yellow wood” where “leaves no step had trodden black,” for starry nights, and “even the serpent, magically beautiful in silver moonlight.”

We are thankful for the “precious friendship of a dog,” for the rivers that “carry our canoes and feed our children,” for “every shining pine needle, every sandy shore, every mist in the dark woods, every clearing and humming insect,” for “the rocky crests, the juices in the meadows, the body heat of the pony,” and “living high on the hog.”

We give thanks, even amidst occasional despair, for places where “the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.”  We give thanks for the “peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.”

We believe in the “dream deeply rooted in the American dream,” that despite our differences, our misunderstandings and our politics, “brotherhood” still exists in America,  and may indeed prevail, “from sea to shining sea.”

We are thankful for trees, our thirsty “counterparts in the kingdom of plants,” for winter woods and live oaks where “a boy and a yearling” might still “run side by side,” for mornings that, thankfully, still “throb with the dawn chorus of robins, catbirds, doves, jays, wrens and scores of other bird voices” and “for the land, always the land,” which demonstrates over and over that “the extravagant gesture is the very stuff of creation.”  

We are proud to be part of the “leap of imagination” that is America; to be doing our small part in avoiding the “folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us” by promoting “the wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of men.”  We do this because we recognize “there can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country,” but also because we recognize that “everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”

We are thankful for you, dear reader, and would like to know what it is that you are thankful for today.  What are you proud of in your daily comings and goings?  And from this day forward, “what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”


Key to the quotes here!