Right now, I am at home, sitting in my real bed, in my real room, with my dogs curled up beside my feet. I must say that, though I have been quite happy recently, I have not felt this completely relaxed and happy in a very long time. Of course, I have piles and piles of work to do, but I am still so excited to have a break. I think that at this point in the semester, we all need one–and I feel incredibly lucky to have such a sanctuary to come home to.
My house is separated off in the woods by a mile long dirt road, so it is completely removed from society. Here, I feel one with nature, with the forest around me, with the animals chirping and howling in the woods. It is as green as it gets–no chemicals, no pesticides, no toxins inside or out. Every time I come home I feel such an immense sense of peace–a complete release of whatever stresses were bothering me at college, a complete release of tension, a complete release of pressure.
Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful for what we have, and this Thanksgiving, I must say that I am grateful for my home and for my family. I have many friends who are not excited to go home because their homes are not the same sanctuary that mine is. I have friends who complain that they �hate� their families, that they �hate� their homes, that they �hate� their towns. So, for those of us who do love our families and our homes and our towns, let us take this holiday to relish in them and to think about how truly lucky we are to have such an environment to come home to.
I, personally, am thankful to my parents for creating this sanctuary for me to live in. I�m thankful to have parents who love and support me, and who challenge me every day to engage in life and learning. I am thankful that, though they are divorced, they have gone out of their way to maintain a family dynamic between the three of us. I am most thankful to them for providing me with an environment in which I can be exactly who I am. I am thankful for these things because I know I am privileged to have them. Though Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday and I have always been thankful for something, this is the first year that I have truly realized how lucky I am, and how incredibly thankful I must be, for these basics.
I have seen people who do not have what I have, and I know that there are huge numbers of people in this world who have next to nothing. This year, I want everyone to really think about that–to really think about how lucky you are in a broader scope. My heart goes out to those who do not find solace in their home or with their families, and to those who have no home or no family.
So, continue on with gratitude and compassion in your hearts and relaxation and peace in your spirits. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Note to self: Don�t take for granted, be grateful.
Lily Berthold-Bond grew up in a chemical-free zone and has struggled her whole life to understand and accept this non-commercial lifestyle. Now a sophomore at Tufts University, she has embraced her green life and hopes to share its possibilities with the rest of her generation.