It's cold and gray outside the window--my favorite Thanksgiving weather. Seriously. Just as gray skies make Fall leaves more intense, the chilled slate day enhances the golden warmth inside. Cozy in fleece and my red alpaca socks, sipping my own version of a coffee-chocolate latte, watching the dogs sleeping in flickering firelight and being visited by assorted cats as I write, the dark day and occasional snowflake make me smile and feel even more grateful for the socks and coffee and critters and Linda (who is working on bee classes in the office) and the rattle-squeal of the pellet stove and abundant dinner we'll eat in a few hours.
Those who know me well have listened to me rant about Thanksgiving over the years. Let's ask the Native Americans fighting to protect Standing Rock how they feel about this day. And I've self-righteously declared many times that "if you need a special day to give thanks, you're just doing it wrong." This has always been followed with a smug "I give thanks many times a day, and fall asleep saying thank you." And while there's been truth under the mounds of self-congratulation, I've dropped the ball lately.
Like so many, I've been raging and despairing, cursing and mourning since about 2:00 am November 9th. I wake up in the morning, feed the dogs, pour my coffee and then BAM...it hits like a punch to the gut. Or I'll be at work, helping someone and...remember. I'll remember that the person I'm helping might be one of 'them', a person who would gleefully denounce my marriage to Linda, believes Muslims should be banned from the country, keeps a white sheet (literally or figuratively) behind his/her driver's seat, and is all for building a 2000 mile wall--after deporting everyone imaginable first. Oh, I'm lucky...in reality the majority of people I encounter at work are not 'them'. But since November 9th, there's always an 'us' and 'them' in my mind.
Look, I knew racism was horrifically present, and on the rise, but living and working where I do, it was a thing on the news...turn off the news, turn off the reality. But now there's no denying the molten lava river of hatred coursing through this country. And yeah, I know there are those who swear up and down they aren't "like that"; they voted for trump because of the economy. Well, to them I say: you're worried about the economy but thought a guy who has filed for bankruptcy six times, stiffs his contractors, doesn't always pay his bills, and won't release his tax returns is the guy to fix it? I suggest that next time you just go stuff your money under your mattress and stay away from the polls.
Okay, I'll stop now...the above illustrates that of late, between the post-election anger, depression & malaise, as well as feeling like I'm always scrambling to catch up to one project or another (home and work) three important things have fallen by the wayside: time spent outside just being, writing--anything including the novel that's been begging for my attention and is getting ready to pack its bags and move on, and...gratitude. I just stopped saying --and more importantly, FEELING-- thank you.
And finally (but not really because I can go on and on), I'm grateful for...you.
Happy thanks giving.