I’ve been thinking about Thanksgiving. Mostly about cooking, it’s true, but also about the holiday itself. It’s a troubled holiday now, for many people, with the echoes of imperialism inherent in its history.
I like the holiday, though. The way I see it, every agrarian culture has a post-harvest festival. If the harvest was great, you have a party to celebrate and to thank whatever gods you worship. If the harvest was just okay, you have a party to thank whatever gods you worship so they won’t get mad and send you floods, blizzards, or rot during the dark months. If the harvest was bad, then you want one final blast before you and your family figure out to avoid starvation in the winter.
In the spirit, then, of an at-least-okay harvest, I started thinking about things to give thanks for. Not the big obvious things. Not health, family, friends, a job. . .well, maybe a job. I started looking at tiny, day-to-day things I am grateful for. It’s quite a list. I thought I would have to struggle to get ten. I ended up having to pare it down to 15.
Things I’m Grateful For
1. I’m grateful that the Sunday before Thanksgiving it was 68 degrees, and the leaves were orange, crimson and butter-yellow against a clear blue sky.
2.I’m grateful for green tea, and for hot chocolate, whipped cream and peppermint.
3. I’m grateful that I live within walking distance of downtown, which has a cinema, a library, a live theater, a bookstore, a fair trade import store, a candy store, a music store and a goddess store (in case I decide to buy a goddess).
4.I’m grateful for dogs. Okay, I’m grateful for cats, too. Not as grateful, but grateful.
5.I’m grateful for Joss Whedon. Four words: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. One more word: Firefly.
6.I’m grateful for English handbell ringers.
7.I’m grateful for Andre Norton, who taught me that girls could write exciting stories.
8.I’m grateful for hybrid cars.
9.Did I say I’m grateful for chocolate?
10.I’m grateful that I got to experience the 2008 presidential election.
11.I’m grateful for avocados, salmon, halibut and artichokes. And, of course, tomatoes.
12. I’m grateful that at least twice in my life someone has told me that my encouragement and support, years earlier, helped them reach their dream.
13.I’m grateful (really!) for blogs, telephones and e-mail which keep me in touch with people who are hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away.
14. I’m grateful for drivers who stop and let me pull into traffic, and I’m grateful for the drivers who wave when I stop to let them pull into traffic.
15. I’m grateful that the Internet, and Google in particular, can find me 6,000 sites that has the famous green-bean-mushroom-soup-and-French-fried-onion-casserole recipe. Can you imagine what would happen if I tried to improvise?
So that’s it. Pass around that pottery bowl full of home-brewed beer, toss another log on the bonfire, and tell me what everyday things you’re grateful for. I’d really like to know.