Give Thanks

FI-EditorialNEWYes, it can all be taken away. Paris was a reminder, if the less dramatic daily news reports were not enough. Life, this precious amalgam of the mundane and the magnificent that is given to us, is fragile. It can be taken. And of course we also know — have always known — that the lives we enjoy, the people we cherish, are not eternal. And if not snatched by madmen, or unlucky circumstance, they will slowly fade and, someday, end.

Still, we give thanks. It is a mysterious magical gift to awaken in the morning and see blue sky, walk through a world of clouds and colors and people, hear the rustle of the fallen leaves and feel the touch of November’s wind.

We should give thanks every day, rain or shine, by leading lives that give back to the world we wander in like blessed children. Feed the poor. Help neighbors. Give to good causes. Build shelter for the homeless. Take in the refugees.

And we should give thanks to those close and dear,  and thanks for having them, by living with not just with kindness and companionable tolerance, but with real appreciation for who they are — by living with the eyes of love.

And on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, as we gather in the motley assemblages of our extended families — the kids and grandma, the cousins, maybe that neighbor who has no one nearby, old Aunt Alice and whacky Uncle George — it is time to say thanks, share thanks, with humanity’s oldest treasured tradition: cooking and eating together. Time for the kitchens to bustle with the work of many hands. Time to sit down at the table laden with edible treasures, and share a moment of reverent thanks for all we are given. And then, at last, time for our annual national tribute to gods of abundance and indulgence, and the goods of the harvest — turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, bread and beans, yams and carrots, pies for dessert!

Heap the plates. Dig in. Enjoy. Give thanks.

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