As we anticipate sweet hugs
blessed by smiles and bright eyes,
please know that
we are ready for you.
The welcome mat is straightened, and vacuumed –
all debris has been shaken out, set free.
The pillows and towels are washed and fluffed.
Beds are supplied with soft blankets and clean sheets
so you can rest.
The pantry is stuffed
like you soon will be
to satisfy your longing
in body and soul.
This heart is expectant, light –
free of any pain or stress.
There is only love and gratitude for
this coming togetherness.
Everything else can be put to the side.
This moment is worthy of full attention and care.
May this candle that I light
be the beacon you need
to find your way to our embrace.
May the comfort of this time of gathering
soothe any separation that has lingered.
Welcome to our home.
Cynthia Cady Stanton, Thanksgiving 2022