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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006


For the first time in my life, I spent Thanksgiving alone. Now, I’m not inclined to make this the start of a new tradition, but spending a day alone to ponder all that I am thankful for does have its merits.

I’m a solitary soul by nature and I’m quite comfortable having only myself for company. Thanksgiving, though, was the quintessential family holiday for me, so it was with more than a bit of melancholy that I reflected upon the fact that my family, in essence, no longer exists.

Still, I would be leaving you with a wrong impression if I were to end on that note.

* * *

Thanksgiving, for the last thirty years, was a rather frenetic day. I would typically wake early and rush to begin the final preparations for dinner. There is so much to do…so much to cube, dice, sauté, boil, peel, stir, whisk and puree…while dusting, vacuuming, wiping and fretting during any spare moment. Thanksgiving mornings were always a rush; my mind completely focused on practical matters, recipes and the clock.

Family arrives; dinner is served, consumed, consumed once (twice) more. Merriment and convivial conversations ensue, but soon enough, the tryptophan suffuses into the bloodstream and tongues grow quiet as darkness descends upon this cheery world. Family leaves. Then comes more slicing, wrapping, storing, washing, vacuuming, nibbling, more nibbling (with a bit more wine)…and the inevitable collapse in a state of total satiation and exhaustion. I always loved Thanksgiving…but there was so little time to actually give thanks.

This year was different. I lazed through the morning, savoring my coffee. I caught up on mail, paid a few bills, munched on a bit of leftover chicken, and…gave thanks.

I first began thinking of all that I was grateful for in my life on Monday. The gears in my head then kept turning throughout the week, and my list of thank-you’s kept growing, and growing and growing. By midday today, I realized that it would take a book (perhaps even several tomes) to express ALL the gratitude I feel.

This blog, in many fundamental ways, does not reflect the reality of my life. The musings I’ve shared with you span just a year (more or less); a particularly dark year, I should add. But there have been a great many more unexamined years. In large part, they have been great years, wondrous years, electric/psychedelic years, magnificent years, laughter-filled years, beautiful years, loving years, rewarding and satisfying years.

I spent the day giving thanks. I want to share a few, just a few, of the thoughts that crossed my mind this week.

* * *

I am grateful for all the beauty in this world. It exists everywhere. One has only to open one's eyes and it is there.

I’m grateful for the pious and the penitent. Both have so much to teach, and I have SO much to learn.

I’m grateful for the scientists and the saints. Denizens of two different worlds, we often say, but (really) both worlds are one and the same.

I’m grateful for the kind and gentle true believers, be they followers of crescent, star or cross. Perhaps…if there were more of them…the world could truly be a kinder, gentler place.

I’m grateful for the healers, the peacemakers, the just, the meek, the merciful, the loving, hoping, giving, caring, dreaming…

Imagine a world without them. I believe it would be called: Hell.

I’m grateful for the artists and the artisans, the poets, writers, actors, comics, dramatists, dancers, musicians, nightingales…and countless others who nurture the human soul. To them, I owe the best in me.

I’m grateful for the growers and the grocers; the shepherds and the weavers; fishers and fishmongers; foresters and carpenters; brick-makers and bricklayers; steel-makers and steelworkers; miners and jewelers; and all the seekers and all their fabulous discoveries.

I am grateful for the water that slakes my thirst, nurtures the planet, and crashes against the rocks in liquid poetry. I am grateful for electricity…be it lightning…or the electrons that keep my refrigerator cool. I am grateful for photosynthesis, for the sun that casts its light on the grapes that, in humble gratitude, grow. For the vintners that press the grapes and ferment the fruit in oaken casks that that came from trees that devoured the light and precious air to gird their trunks that sawyers sawed and carvers carved and coopers joined to make the casks where magic happens. I’m grateful for the bottle-makers, the hands that corked the bottles, the mariners who plied the seas to find safe harbors where truckers came to haul the pretty bottles a thousand miles so they might grace my table and make my taste buds sing.

I’m grateful for all living things. The souls that sacrificed their own potential so that I may live. The nuts and seeds that never grew so that I might; the lamb that stretched its neck to Heaven and the blade; the birds that gave up flight so that I may someday fly. I am grateful for all the souls, every one as worthy as my own, that filled my gut that made the blood that fueled my heart and filled my brain that gave me the sense, the wonder and the awe to praise the souls that sacrificed so much. I am grateful…truly, tearfully, grateful for all of this.

(I fear, some days, that I’ve not earned their sacrifice).

I am grateful for my parents who created and nurtured me, all the hands that shaped me, the teachers who taught me, the friends who befriended me, the lovers who loved me, the healers who healed me, the stars that guided me, and the majesty of All Creation that forever inspires me. I am so very grateful for every glimpse of Heaven, every moment of ecstasy, rapture and breathless wonder (and there have been many). I've received SO much more than I deserve…could ever earn…or could ever repay. I am grateful for all of them…for all of this…for all that.

* * *

Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks. If truth be told, it takes more than 24-hours, more than a day, a month or year. It takes a lifetime to give thanks to all whom and all that must be thanked, and praised and worshipped and revered.

* * *

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog intrigues me and I found it quite by accident. I agree that being grateful is not just a one day affair.

"I’m grateful for the kind and gentle true believers, be they followers of crescent, star or cross. Perhaps…if there were more of them…the world could truly be a kinder, gentler place." Quite powerful!

Wishing you many blessings in the years ahead.

~butterfly angel~

Fri Nov 24, 05:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jonas said...

Thank you, Ms. Angel. I appreciate your kind words, and I'll humbly take any blessing I can get. Stop by and visit any time.

Fri Nov 24, 05:26:00 PM  
Blogger tipota said...

the gentility of your gratitude the way it is expressed, is very moving, and reminded me, in a big way, of everything that i too am grateful for and how somehow, i have been found to be worthy of it.

Mon Apr 06, 09:49:00 PM  

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