To tap in once again to the sentimental side...
There are times of warmth in life, when nearly everyone in the country is sitting down to a meal together, perhaps for the first time in years, perhaps after long-standing tradition, like clockwork, 3 o'clock, 5 o'clock, after the game. There is, for most, a wonderful turkey to enjoy, brown and juicy. (Grandpa always takes the dark meat: it has more taste.) There are Grandma's lumpy potatoes, just the way we like them. Two pans of stuffing: one for the vegetarians. The old family friend and her daughter have brought round a cranberry dish you've never tried; the Korean grad student you have invited has brought a pecan pie. Calls have been made to make sure no one else is lonesome today, last minute invitations go out. There's always room for one more. Tiny New York kitchens are filled with pots and pans, Mom, unused to such a small space, still happily stirs the gravy over the gas burners as you squeeze in beside her to tell her thanks for coming. The eaters get restless, Dad gets his hands ready to carve. And then we gather round the table, regardless of creed, color, or political bent, to give thanks. This holiday is my favorite of all holidays, because it has been stripped of commercialism, of candy, of paper hearts, and is about the true heart: family, friends, togetherness.
This year I am thankful for opportunity, the opportunity to travel, to explore sidestreets, to read, to sit for a moment and type out a few thoughts. I am thankful for collective wisdom, for my own still-forming wisdom, and the chance for others to share their wisdom with me. I am thankful for the friends who had the kindness to squeeze in two more chairs today to let us give thanks with them (and about 50 of their close, personal friends at an Irish pub) since we couldn't make it back to Ohio. I am thankful for health, and I am even a little bit thankful for the sicknesses that force us to realize that we need to appreciate each other more while we are here on earth. Most of all, I am thankful for words and what they have the power to do. And that is why I am writing this to you.
May you and yours all have a wonderful and happy thanksgiving.