We are now deep into Autumn here in the Northeastern United States. Nestled between the otherworldly fascinations of Halloween and the cheerful joys of the Yuletide season, is one of America’s oldest holidays: Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. For me, it’s always been a day of delicious home cooking and intimate family gatherings. As an adult, I have grown to value the real meaning of the holiday– gratitude.
These days, Thanksgiving is unfortunately viewed by many as the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Many chain stores have reduced it to an excuse to lure customers in with sales that really aren’t as steep as they seem — and some of the population is following along. I personally will never set foot in a retail store on Thanksgiving and stand firmly with the “Boycott Black Thursday” crowd.
But I digress.
Thanksgiving sheds light on the importance of gratitude. Gratitude is such a powerful force in our lives, yet one we often lose sight of. I confess I am not immune to this obliviousness. Some days I find myself sucked into the drama of modern existence where every first-world molehill is magnified into a mountain. For these poisonous times, I have found gratitude to be an effective antidote. Feeling gratitude forces us to center, to take stock of ourselves, to count our blessings. It is a very effective spiritual practice which people of any faith can participate in.
Despite the fact that I have not achieved everything I had hoped to by this age, I have much to be grateful for. My family, my friends, a steady job, a roof over my head, mostly good health. This is more than many people can lay claim to.
I am also intensely grateful for being a writer. I have read about writers talking about the hardships of writing and pretty much bemoaning their lots in life. This puzzles me. Writing has always been one of my “happy places” and one of my greatest sources of satisfaction. Though there is no scientific proof of talent being something a human is born with, I believe storytelling is part of my spiritual purpose in this lifetime. Whatever challenges this work may bring, for me, will be worth it.
I wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving! May your bellies be full and your hearts be thankful! Feel free to share what you are grateful for in the comments! ❤