What is Thanksgiving, anyway?
A little white light for your day*
Personally, I don’t think this holiday has anything to do with Pilgrims and Indians. That initial event passed a long time ago and we can’t possibly know the truth of it. History has proven to be a liar in many cases – most even, who knows.
Been lots of comments on Facebook and Twitter about celebrating this holiday, that we shouldn’t out of respect for those involved in current protests that have turned ugly (your being miserable doesn’t help their cause. There are many ways to help them, suffering isn’t one of them), or we should because otherwise we’re just angry people (I think we’re angry anyway but only you can change that). But don’t you think most of our major holidays have lost their initial meaning, that they’ve given themselves over to marketing? I don’t know about you but I’m celebrating. Not in a grandiose way, I have a very, very small family structure although I’m blessed with numerous great long-term friends who live elsewhere – everywhere, no one close to me. I have newer local friends. It will be a quiet day for me – much quiet time, thinking about my loved ones who have left – grateful they were in my life, about those in my future – grateful to know they are on their way, about my present – I’m alive, and how far I’ve traveled, yes, its been a wicked and fun ride. Not necessarily a turkey fan, I’ll be roasting a chicken, making Italian sausage stuffing (a childhood favorite) and broccolini with garlic and olive oil. (Can you tell I was raised Italian?) Added to that, a bottle of a lovely Malbec – maybe a few brownies – or will it be pumpkin pie? Only tomorrow knows. Spending time with a local friend. Probably watching a ridiculous movie and maybe even making a few more phone calls.
Celebrating in my own way for the people who can’t, for the people who don’t want to, for those who are unable to see that the day is for gratitude for being alive, for being able to think and care about all sorts of things, other people, animals, the flowers of the world, the stars, the way the light rests in the eyes of children when they look at you, the breeze going through trees just before a rain storm – the possibility that any moment beyond the one you exist in now might be the last – or maybe its the beginning of something new.
Happiness isn’t dependent on who the President is, whether your lover is cheating on you, how much money you’ve lost. It’s dependent on how you think, how open your heart is, what you concentrate on as you walk this path, and what you bring to the world in general. Be grateful for anything at all, everything, whatever you come up with. Live in the positive. That’s my opinion, anyway. You might not agree. And that’s fine because my joy isn’t dependent on you and yours isn’t on me. We’re both okay. Life is good, even when it isn’t – because that’s the gift – Life.
*I posted a photo of a beautiful white flower, still blooming in this cold Pacific Northwest air – persistence and the refusal to give up, that’s what I’m talking about. No turkey photo – you know what a turkey looks like but you might have forgotten about flowers. I wanted to remind you.
A few things to get you out of a slump you might be in:
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” Melody Beattie
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” Alice Walker
One of my favorites:
“You are the soul of the Universe and your name is Love” Rumi
© jacqualine-marie 2016