Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

"If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, 'thank you,' that would suffice. "
Meister Eckhart

Thanksgiving the F-word holiday - food, football, family. In concept I think it is a grand idea. I've gotta wonder, however, if the holiday we experience in 2007 is anywhere near the same in spirit as what it started out to be. Obviously, the Pilgrims didn't have TV and football; they didn't have giant balloon characters to march down a New York avenue; hell, they didn't have avenues or even New York. Sadly they didn't have microwave ovens or brown-'n-bags or Pam cooking spray to give their roasted birds the golden Norman Rockwell look we strive for.
I'm guessing that without malls the Pilgrims didn't feel the need to hurriedly gobble (no pun intended) up their festive foods so they could rest up for merchandizing blitzkreig to come. I wasn't there so I can't say for sure, but I bet the act of surviving another New England day was reason enough to give thanks. Indeed the original Thanksgiving day celebration was all about saying thank you, to God, to their neighbors, to their family. It wasn't just a day to put behind them. It was, what it was ... a day to cherish the things in their lives that really mattered and be grateful.

Today, I'm feeling grateful that I am not a Pilgrim. I have ancestors in my family tree that had some connection to the Mayflower, although I'm not sure exactly what it was. Still I don't think I would have made a very good Puritan woman. I like having my turkey deheaded and defeathered for me. And much as I like digging in the dirt, I'd have starved right along with many of the people who were counting on me to plant, tend and harvest the venerable vegetable triad of corn, squash and beans.

Today I'm grateful for the roof over my head that I didn't have to build. In fact I didn't have to clear the land, hone the trees, or plug the holes. I'm having trouble just thinking about the work those first Thanksgiving people had to do just to get through the day, every day. When I'm stuck in a traffic jam, looking at all the people sitting in gas guzzling cars that are somehow destroying the ozone layer and melting polar icecaps I often find myself wishing for a simpler time. Simpler, yes ... really really hard, probably not.

I'm grateful to have a family to fuss about. There are people in this world with no one at all to call and ask to bring an extra can of cranberries or green bean casserole. There are people in the world, children and old people, who are going hungry as I sit here stuffed to the gills. I'm grateful I'm not one of them. And I'm also a little bit sad that in this day and age there is so much plenty and so much want all on the same planet.

My heart is full of things I'm grateful for. I can't possibly list them all. Here's are a few of the things that immediately come to mind - in no particular order: Black kitties, faithful dogs, daughters, sons, granddaughters, sisters, dads, girl friends, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws, trees, donuts, dishwashers, oxyclean detergent, music, quilts, beaches, oranges, penguins, cameras, Birkenstocks, baby pigs, children, books, children's books, swimming pools, schools, socks, elephants, hospitals, my new kitchen, Sesame Street characters, ATMs, tea, penicillin, lavender bath gel, tulips and daffodils, reality TV, laptop computers, flannel pjs, saltine crackers, Coca Cola, toothpaste, macaroni and cheese, red birds, yellow birds, purple birds, alarm clocks, telephones and snail mail.

My list could go on and on. I try to be grateful for just about everything. It's hard to be grateful when poop hits the fan. Still I try. Mostly I'm grateful for the people to whom I owe so much. People who love me in spite of me. People who share with me just because. People who put their lives on the line every day so that I can live a life of abundance - overabundance to be sure.

Last, but not least, I'm really, really, really grateful today, and everyday, for one special person - my sweetie aka Capt. Jack or Prince Charming. I'm grateful for all he does to lift me up, to help me be the best I can be. For his sense of humor, his spirit, and his style. For the way he listens with his heart as well as his ears. For his patience even when he doesn't feel patient. For his love even when I'm not so loveable. For his gentleness and his strength. For showing me what love is all about.

I am blessed and for this I am sincerely grateful. I hope you've had a day full of all your favorite foods and that you can still zip up your pants. May you know the joy of gratitude.

Be blessed and don't be afraid to say "thank you."

Merry ME

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank You!

Anonymous said...

I'm thankful for you and Captain Jack too. Especially thankful you found one another. It's inspiring.

Full-bellied and far away,
Love,
W