November 19th, 2007

ice

This Week I Am Grateful

Here's what I think is sort of insufficient:
ONE day a year devoted to gratitude.

It should be some sort of a crime that Thanksgiving doesn't come around monthly or so.

And I don't mean because of the long, lit-up table and bottles of beaujolais and pumpkin pie, although those things are truly fine.

The part that really slays me is when you go around the table and everyone says what they're thankful for. Hardly anyone can keep it to one thing and when the person next to you speaks, you nod and nod and say, "Yep, me too. I'm grateful for that, too." 

The kids say things like, "I'm grateful for my family -- even for my brother," and the grown-ups say things like, "I'm grateful for our health, and this food, and the amazing, beautiful light outside," and everyone turns to look out the window together. 

And by the end, each of us sort of floats a couple of inches above our chair, feeling like the luckiest dog on the planet.

The thing is, the rest of the year we kind of get caught up in the other stuff. 
The not-quite-enough-or-too-much stuff that makes us want to nap or cry or complain. 
Yesterday it was too much laundry, today it's too much traffic, tomorrow it's not enough money, the next day it's not enough space. What if, instead, we thought, "I'm grateful that I have a washing machine and all these comfy cottony clothes. I'm grateful that we live close enough to the school to bike instead of drive. I'm thankful that everyone we know loves homemade gifts. And I'm thankful for our teeny, cozy, cuddley little home." What about that? That'd be crazy, wouldn't it?

So, I'm really not into lobbying Congress for a monthly Thanksgiving holiday because I think they should be, y'know, getting busy doing stuff that the rest of us can feel thankful for. But what I can do is declare this a week for giving thanks. Not just Thursday, although I plan to truly relish that family trip around the table, with a glass of beaujolais in hand. But starting today. And carrying on.

Here goes.

I'm grateful that I got away this weekend to a little cabin in the hills, where I found snake skins and skulls and spiders and stars. Where I napped and read and played Mexican Train dominoes. Where I talked politics, religion, bikini waxes and books with women of the brightest and most delightful sensibilities.

And I'm grateful that, in the meantime, my girls and my husband and my old white dog were camping out themselves -- canoeing and cooking s'mores and playing cards in the tent as the rain picked up. I'm grateful that when one of my daughters sat on a cactus, her dad was there to administer first aid and love her up. 

I'm grateful that the car we're trying to sell hasn't sold yet, since the battery on the minivan is dead.
I'm grateful that the Aesop's Fables performance at the girl's school this morning was bilingual.
I'm grateful for the pumpkin cheesecake recipe on my kitchen counter.
I'm grateful that Thanksgiving's not at my house. 
I'm grateful for email, and Horizon half-and-half, and tamari sesame seeds.
I'm grateful for short weeks and dry leaves and construction paper.
I'm grateful for unlimited long distance.
I'm grateful for you and you and you and you and you....


(To be continued)