Friday, November 28, 2014
I don't much like birthdays and anniversaries and, well, most holidays, really. I know many do and that's fine. Honestly, I see it as a character fault of mine, you know, more than anything. I have argued here before that I think it is the result my many years in the restaurant business. Personally, I think it is the result of deep and important thinking and theological musings informed by the canon of philosophical writings, or, I might be cheap or misanthropic.
Anyway I look at it, I still don't like them. I don't mind the sentiments exactly. Another year 'round the sun, another hard fought or easily won year in a marriage or on the job, a Savior birth and resurrection - it is all pretty important stuff.
Here's the thing, I don't need Valentine's Day to show my wife I love her. I do it every time I fold her sweater or make her lunch or bring her a blanket or buy her sweet tea at the store or a hundred other small gestures I make to her, and she to me. Maybe it is stupid, maybe trite, maybe a copout, but everyday is Valentine's Day, everyday is Mothers Day, Sweetest Day, ad naseum.
I'd say I ponder the resurrection everyday - in a sunset, in the new, feeble branches on the maples, in the inexplicable beauty of the tides. I see it in the crocuses in a spring snow, in the golden leaves slowly decaying in a fall cold rain. I see it in the death of a beloved pet, in the transformation of a troubled friend, in the false finality of the gravestones I see in the Union Cemetery I pass everyday. Easter's every moment we breathe and beyond.
We know, we humans, birth - we deeply are affected by it. It is cellular, genetic. Every birth is the birth of a king, every birth is the birth of a saint, a poet, a dreamer. Every birth is a damn miracle and I remember that everyday when I look into the shining faces of two boys going around on their tenth trip around the sun. Everyday is Christmas.
But, then I get to Thanksgiving. I think it is a perfect holiday. Surprisingly bereft of the commercialization I so loathe in the holidays I mentioned above. It's funny, I roast turkeys several times a year, we have dressing a few times a month, I make gravy regularly and mashed potatoes are in our regular rotation. I still like Thanksgiving Day, the day, the specific holiday. It's not like me.
I am a very thankful person. I get that things could have turned out insanely different for me in my life. I am beyond thankful for my wife, Marci, who stabilizes and centers me. She's the best. I am thankful for my family growing up and the lessons and memories that my mom and dad and brothers provided. I am very thankful for the friends I have had, still have, they shaped me in a way I can begin to explain. I expect you know what I mean.
Am I thankful everyday? Damn straight I am. It is one of the reasons I remain a man of faith. I need someone, something to thank. I need gratitude. I need - desperately, I'd add - to keep the focus from myself. Without something other than myself to be thankful towards, I find myself thinking that I am the reason things are good, that I am the one who should be thanked, that I am the center of attention... I am not.
I guess I just like focusing my gratitude for this one day. I like knowing that you are doing the same. I like thinking that in homes where there is not always joy, for this one day, perhaps, there is. I like knowing that we stand together, for one day, in recognizing all that we have, our blessings - and believe me I hate the word, not because it is inaccurate but because it has lost meaning these days - you could say.
I know it is not a perfect world but, for one day, Thanksgiving Day, I like to pretend it is.
Here's an arbitrary and gratitutious picture for no reason - other than I think it is really cute:
I am always tardy with my holiday posts. It bothered me when I first got started doing this. It doesn't anymore. I didn't write anything yesterday because, well, I was busy. I was busy brining and basting and roasting and boiling. I was busy laughing and fire-tending and fighting and singing and enjoying. I was busy remembering and making memories. And, in all of it, I was thanksgiving.
From Marci's "... things you don't expect to hear from the backseat ... "
"Galloping pants? I would buy galloping pants."
It is not clear to me if the pants themselves gallop about or if the make you gallop when you where them. I'm good either way...
This post is an anniversary of sorts, I started doing this just over three years ago. Believe it or not this is my three hundred and fiftieth post, or thereabouts. Many of you have been around most of that time, some are new, all I appreciate. Thanks for stopping by.
Just for fun I looked back at past Thanksgiving posts. The first was "I Am Thankful" (I used some take-home stuff, I loved that) the next was "Thanksgiving Daily" (in which I refute everything I said in this post). This is the one I did last year called "Sellabrasin Day Post" (it was done in December in typical IHIWAT style) and, well, now you are caught up.
Listen, give thanks everyday, look around, you'll find something...