Ah, Thanksgiving, a holiday that I once thought of as a day off from school and an opportunity to eat too much mashed potatoes. This time of year is different for me now, as I live thousands of miles away from my family. I usually don’t know what I’m doing until a week before the holiday, when I get invited to some sort of Orphans’ Thanksgiving. Every holiday for the past eight years has been different, some with old or new friends, strange or traditional dishes, simple or extravagant parties. This time of year is always exciting, but it’s also taken on a new meaning to me personally.
The end of the year is a celebration of life’s bounty, and not just in terms of the food we gather around the table to enjoy with our loved ones. Whether spent socially or introspectively, it is a day of expressing gratitude for all of the blessings that have graced our lives, big or small, simple or grand. Today I’m grateful for my good health, a good job, the art I create and the opportunities to share it with the world. I have love from many friends and family, however far away they might be. I have warm clothes, a warm bed, and a solid roof over my head. I have easy access to healthy food and clean drinking water. I have also grown a lot in the past year, just by showing up to learn the lessons of personal healing and growth. The difference between the gratitude I feel this year compared to years past is that now I feel it all around me and within me. Gratitude for the physical and spiritual; for what can be seen, and what can be felt.
Happy day of gratitude to you and yours. However you spend the day, I hope you can include a few minutes of giving thanks for all of the blessings in your life.