What are your plans for Thanksgiving Day? I hope you have something special to eat, and someone special to eat it with, and a few moments to let it all sink in.
For me, holidays serve as mileposts, a stake in the ground to mark where I stand at a particular moment. I like to pause and take a picture — whether a photo, or a mental snapshot, or some scribbled paragraphs in a journal — and later remember that year, out of all the passing years.
Oh that was the Thanksgiving we had such-and-such family over and the kids snuck a bag of Cheetos while we were setting the table.
That was the year we drove to Chicago and had dinner with 111 of my first cousins and their spouses in a church basement. And Grandpa did “Chester.”
That was the year so-and-so had a terrible cold and we doctored her with hot lemonade and a shot of whisky, which made her think the world was ending. Remember?
A milepost reminds me to ask myself: For what am I most grateful this year?
I’ve noticed that the hard years are often the ones where my gratitude is most keen. Since I’ve been blogging since 2007, it’s fun to see what made it into the blog in years past.
~ 2008 was quite a poignant time for me. I blogged about the day, and then wrote a poem about it. I’m glad I have these blogposts, which are really quite personal, even though I’m happy to share them with you.
~ Last year, 2012, my attention was focused on a number of different things happening in various parts of the world: Walmart as it opened earlier on “Black Friday,” Israel and Palestine, and the Church of England. I wrote a pair of posts, kind of a bad news/good news. They’re titled (perhaps rather oddly) Work, Bread, Water, Salt (four essential things). I note that a year later, all of those issues are still ongoing. Which is perhaps why we need mileposts.
Wherever you’re milepost looks like this year, I hope your “stake in the ground” marks a pleasant place. Happy Thanksgiving!