Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Imagine: A Thanksgiving Day journey in the mind

Visiting a special place, a place with tree shaded walkways, and water racing in sheets down steep inclines and into narrow aqueducts that trace the border through out the park like space.

Imagine a walk up a ramp, and entering a white spiraled building.

Inside you look up, into a seemingly endless spiral of color, beginning darkly and rising sixty feet high into a clear golden pinnacle. You crane to look upward, or perhaps even lay upon the floor, feeling your thoughts soar amongst the colors.
Square by square speaking of the Divine descending on to Earth, and human praise and gratitude ascending to heaven.

It is a small place. Fifty people would fill the space, yet the view...the view...the tiny room doesn't matter, only what is above concerns you.

When you have drunk your fill, you walk outside, following the course of gliding water.
You walk down paths, then stop at a wall to read the declarations of a Thankful people

You read The Wall of Praise upon which is Psalm 100, writ large.

You read The Proclamation Wall, where the words of President George Washington prescribing thanksgiving is inscribed.

The history of American Thanksgiving is recorded there too: The story of Pilgrim's thanks, the Continental Congress, various Presidents proclamations to be a Thankful People.
Imagine: You stop at stations describing the ways of many people of many lands give thanks.

Then, finally, your path comes to a beautiful plaza.
You step into the space, and stand before a golden circle upright beneath three bells.

Each bell is shaped like the Liberty Bell, each has a different inscription from the Psalms at the base.

The bell's inscriptions speak to the three truths of at the heart of gratitude:

Our Creator loves us

We love our Creator

We serve our Creator by singing.

The bells strike the hours and peal together at noon.
You read the final two Proclamations, the exhortation to value Thankfulness, and the how importance thankfulness is to you as individuals and to your land.

You are urged to give thanks as well.

You are urged to stop and think and consider all that you have to be thankful for.

You are there to contemplate the One to whom you are thankful.

When you have finally gathered all that you have to be thankful together in your mind...

(or perhaps you have one new thing you wish to give thanks for...)

You walk up the seven steps and enter into the center of the Golden Ring,.

And there you stand and speak your thanks to the Almighty God of the Universe.

This is a real place, a real experience to be had in the center of downtown Dallas Texas, where in 1961 the City Planning Counsel of Dallas met and determined to set apart an acre of prime land in the heart of Dallas.
Christened Thanksgiving Square, it eventually became a celebratory place for thanksgiving in Dallas, the United States and the World. I've been there, and experienced it.

For me, upon my visit by happenstance (seeking shade on a hot day...) it was an exhilarating experience to give my thanks to my God as part of a public celebration.
To speak it loud, and thank my God for all that HE does for me daily.

After that, it was interesting to imagine something else...
That there already was a day each year to give thanks for all that God has given you.
But... what if... (imagine this) the proclamations urging thankfulness added something else.
What if...whatever you didn't remember to be thankful for, whatever you esteemed so lightly that you did not feel thankful to God for...
Imagine just for a moment, if what you were not mindfully thankful for...
Would simply be taken away.

Interesting thought, no?


Lovella said...

Jill, what a challenge to really be mindful of all our blessings.
Happy Thanksgiving and may you enjoy all the blessings of the day.

Sara said...

Jill, this is a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing about that special place in Dallas which I, for one, had never before heard of. I want to go inside that building and look up at that incredibly beautiful spiral of light and grace and let my heart soar in thanks to our God.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family today.

Kathy said...

What a beautiful and sacred place. I have never even imagined such a place - and a public place at that. I would LOVE to visit. Thank you for sharing.

Dawn said...

Thank you for sharing Thanksgiving Square. I have to wonder how long we will be free to express our thanksgiving in such a place.

Vicki said...

Beautifully written, Jill. Such a wonderful place and great photos - so appropriate for a day set aside to recall our blessings. Thanks be to God!

Anonymous said...

The part that sticks in my mind is the difference in the expereince once you started into the circling walkway and the city noise faded and the wonder of the day lit stained glass became into view. There was a sense of wonder and to have it all turned to giving thanks was a tremendous blessing. I am glad I expereinced the time with you. Bernie

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Whoa...that is awesome!
Good question...what if all that I am NOT thankful for, was suddenly taken away. Something to think about.