celebrating the everyday exquisite and the unanticipated updrafts that keep me aloft.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Whoa. Slow down a minute. My calendar still says November and we haven’t had turkey yet. But retail America has long since rolled out the holly-jolly-making-a-list-checking-it-twice-most-wonderful-time-of-the-year hoopla. My nearby COSTCO kicked off the Christmas season in September. Forgive my old-fashioned prudishness, but I happen to love Thanksgiving. Really, really love it. Does anyone else have to fight the urge to spank the Little Drummer Boy with his own drumsticks, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum, and put him in time out until after December 1st? Couldn’t we give Thanksgiving a little space and still do Christmas right?
I suppose I should feel grateful that Thanksgiving flies in under the radar and avoids the commercial exploitation that surrounds Christmas. Maybe that’s one of the reasons I love it so much. Thanksgiving is still about what it’s all about. We awaken somehow from the hurried and heedless race to make ends meet and cover the bases and keep the wolf from the door. Our eyes open and come into focus. Pausing, awed and breathless, we notice it. Abundance. Everywhere. Then our hearts open and come into focus and we wonder why we ever doubted or complained or despaired. The act of giving thanks transforms us and refreshes the life in our lives. Economic downturn and global warming and H1N1 and Brad and Angelina fade next to the glowing gifts of any single day.
So at the risk of sounding trite, and in the absence of animated twinkle-lighted lawn pilgrims, I’d like to begin Thanksgiving early. I am thankful. Life sweeps me off my feet and brings me to my knees. I give thanks–for Meyer lemons and sourdough chocolate cake, for faded jeans and well-worn Keens, for Bob’s deep dimples and deeper goodness and warm, strong hands, for automatic sprinklers, down comforters, and Skype. For Bach, Basie, and the Beatles. For the happy wrinkles around my eyes and being called “Nana.” For sharp knives and sharp cheese and Sharpies. Indoor plumbing and outdoor dogs. For winding trails and wild lupine and North Face. For red rock and rainforests and Half Dome. For five senses, five day work weeks, five o’clock. For solitude and sociality. Snuggling. Laughter. For words and ideas and good books and the smell of the library. For warmth and light and dark, still night. For goodly parents, and magnificent daughters, sons, siblings, friends.
Not just this week, or next, I give thanks. I thank an all-wise Father who knows me perfectly and loves me anyway and never gives up on this deeply flawed but profoundly grateful child. Thanks . . . for every single day of precious, precious life. Thank You.
Shades of elementary school–what are you thankful for today? What unexpected abundance have you noticed this year?