I love Thanksgiving. For those who don't celebrate it, it's a date we here in the USA and Canada(Theirs is in October) set aside to be with family/friends and show thankfulness for all we have and can share with each other. Usually we cook a turkey(unless we are vegetarian or vegan), dressing, dumplings, and the desserts--pumpkin or sweet potato pies. For the men, that harbinges a good football game in the afternoon, after the bounty of the meal. For most, it's a time to relax and 'just be' with those with whom we are closest.
My take on this holiday is a bit different, although we do have the turkey and all that goes with it--my sister is an excellent cook. She always surpasses herself with this holiday; she loves this day,too.
I think of all I have. I think of those I love. I remember my friends and feel a deep welling of love and thankfulness that they are all a part of my life, and I a part of theirs.
I think of others as well, those I don't know. Those who have suffered from hurricane Sandy, and their demolished homes, and the cold and worry they face. I think of the uemployed, the homeless, the ill, the lost, and those who have lost family through war or illness or disaster. I think of our folk who have gone off to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and those who live in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Egypt where the people are rebelling yet another time because of failed promises and a hope for a freer future for themselves and their children. I think of Israel and Palestine, held in suspense during a cease-fire, and the people already displaced and killed during their brief, violent clash...
My heart breaks for them. I want all people to feel what I feel right now: gratitude for all I do have, and a sense of security, a sense of love, a sense of peace. I want them free from want, from fear, from uncertainty, and from persecution because of their beliefs. I want to see young girls able to go to school, get degrees, and find ways to use their abilities to enrich the planet through creativity, inventions, new discoveries, and to inspire in their turn young girls to go on where they went--and beyond.
I want to see hungry kids comforted and fed. I want to see wars finished and never started again. I want to see our earth preserved for the future. I want to see indiginous peoples protected and to keep their cultures alive.
I want to hear Native Americans at their powwows, telling their stories, go to their drum circles and drum with all the joy they can muster. I want to see people sharing customs, ideas, music, and stories together. I want a sense of us all being part of this one world, one planet, and each caring for the other.
I want humankind to grow up and realize war is not an answer. Fear is not a way to live. Opennness and joy, frienship and sharing, feeding each other, nurturing each other--these are the ways to make each day new again, and bring forth the feeling of thankfulness I love so much.
I love Thanksgiving. Not just for what it makes me feel, but also for what it makes me hope for: a world where love is the coin spent to make life better for all--which is what I dream for, pray for, every single day.