Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is the best of all the holidays for me. As a child, it was Christmas - hovering on the razor's edge of trying to stay awake to hear Santa and his reindeer, the inevitable fall into sleep. Waking early, the greed that propelled me downstairs to find my gifts under the Christmas tree. The joy of ripping packages apart to discover what was inside. Of course, there were thanks you, often decidedly brief and hugs and kisses. It was only later, over the passage of years, I began to understand the fullness of giving thanks and being grateful. And I believe the depth of that understanding will keep on growing over my lifetime, and possibly beyond. Today, this day, this moment, I'm giving thanks for each bite of a sumptuous feast of memories, some spicy, some achingly sweet and joyful. Some bittersweet. Today, I'm grateful for food on the table, a fire in the fireplace, and the river which was supposed to flood, but for some reason changed its mind. And isn't that what rivers do - have their way? I'm grateful for a reasonably sound mind. And discounting the bum knee, which will be changed in January for a bionic version that in my wildest fantasies has me leaping over small buildings, I'm giving thanks for a sound body. I'm grateful for those who are out there expressing gratitude for life by giving to those in need. The caregivers. The listeners. The educators. The openers of hearts. The menders. The carriers of light. I'm giving thanks to the mean ones, the deniers, the pompous and the greedy who serve as wake up calls to what's inside us - what we sometimes forget - that we're all connected. I'm giving thanks for friends present and friends lost, for friends yet to come. I'm grateful for those who've looked past my flaws and my careless mistakes, who know what it is to be human and stay. And I'm giving thanks for all of you, who've become family. In one way or another, unknowingly or with intent, you've enriched my life.

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