It’s late on Sunday afternoon. The sky is the darkest blue, almost navy. No stars have yet come out. The air outside is cold and sweet.
Inside the house, the woodstove has been burning all day, and even the floor is warm. The smoky heat makes me feel safe. I draw the curtains.
Today I am so thankful.
My family will be here on Thursday, to celebrate and to eat. I am thankful that I will have a whole big crowd to cook for! Sisters, nieces and nephews, loved ones and friends, a brother, an Aunt and Uncle, my Mother, all of us eating, laughing, squeezed together in this too-small house.
I have made my lists, and will spend the next few days baking, brining, roasting. I know how lucky I am to be able to buy all this food, to have a nearly endless supply of good things right here, and the means to have everything that we could want to make our feast.
Of course, I’m most thankful that I will have all three of my children here for the afternoon! For the first time in months, we’ll all be together, at least for a while. I know too well how lucky we are to still have each other. I know how fragile families can be, how quickly everything can change. So I’m thankful.
And I am truly thankful that I am lucky enough to live in a place where the threat of bombs and tanks and guns does not exist. Today I read the news, and thought of families on both sides of the Gaza/Israel border. I thought of mothers there trying to protect their children from forces beyond their control. How do they do it? How do they get up in the morning, and make breakfast for their kids, and put them to bed at night knowing that weapons of all kinds are aimed at them even as they sleep? How do they go through life feeling that every minute there are people “not like” them who are planning new ways to kill them? I grieve for all of them. I am thankful for the peace that I have always known.
And because I am grateful, I have to promise myself that I will always do what I can to bring these gifts to others. To people who are no worse, no less kind, no less intelligent, no less deserving than we are, but who have not had the overwhelming luck that we have somehow stumbled into.
Happy Thanksgiving, to everyone, everywhere.