Thursday, November 22

thanks much

Thanksgiving is actually my favorite holiday. This is arguably because it falls in late Autumn, definitely my favorite season. But I think it's more than that. It's the cooler weather, the coming together of people we love, the eating together. There is no other holiday so celebrating the coming together of people without ulterior motive––there are no presents, no particular observances or pressure to feel anything but gratitude.

If the Indians and Pilgrims did feast together, I'm thinking it was probably a much smaller deal than we've made of it. Like maybe John Smith sent a carrier pigeon to Pocahontas with a note that said, "Hey, we just harvested that huge pumpkin. You up for some pie?" So I homeschooled American history--a kid gets bored, OK.

But I figure it was probably just a small gathering, kinda last minute, someone drank a little too much hard cider--that sort of thing. I doubt anyone thought it would take off like it did.

But I'm glad it did. I like having a reason to get with people that I love, cause otherwise I might forget to remember why I love them so much [not to be confused with why they irritate me so much--sometimes it's hard to tell the difference]. And not only that, but it reminds me of all the people I love who aren't there, and all the things in my life that remind me how much I am loved. There shouldn't have to be a reason to do that, but I'm glad there is.

In the last years that my grandpa lived at home, he "planted" watermelons in the fertile landscaping around his house. And every year, he'd harvest at least one unbelievably huge, juicy watermelon. It became an event, the cutting of the watermelon off the vine. I remember one year in particular, cousins, aunts, and uncles gathered around--we all sat on the patio, dark fruity flesh dripping from our hands. It wasn't any kind of big deal, but that's what made it so beautiful. We had nothing better to do with that evening, than share it; that watermelon, than pick and eat it. It was ripe and ready. It was momentary glee.

If nothing else, let Thanksgiving be a day to fill hearts with all the fullness that is life. For better or worse, we're here. That's the gift.