A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles.
Today while I was sitting on the beach (okay, sprawled on my beach towel) waiting for sunset, my friend in Michigan texted me. Usually we get together for Thanksgiving—we trade off hosting in our homes. We have known eachother for more than 20 years. Our children were born in the same hospital and they have been friends all their lives. We both moved our families from Upstate NY to Michigan several years ago, and live(d) less than 2 miles away. Over the years we’ve vacationed together in Disney, the Adirondacks, Cape Cod, and Florida. During the pandemic, our children keep their friendship strong with online gaming and FaceTime calls. I myself have been so overwhelmed and truly a terrible friend—we’ve talked twice since Feb—and I’ve seen her only once since then. So this text stirred up memories of a long friendship, guilt in my absentee support, and sadness that we would not be continuing a tradition of enjoying the holidays together.
To me, Thanksgiving has always been the best holiday for love, family, and friendship. Unlike Christmas—with the anticipation, excitement, and sometimes stress of gift giving—and New Year—where we feel expectations to be a “new” person—Thanksgiving is simply for gratitude. Coming together with those in your life and being thankful for their presence while sharing the abundance of delectable food is the agenda for the day. A pause in daily life to remember why we do what we do and cherish those who are by our side while we do it. On Thanksgiving we take note of those missing in person, either permanently or temporarily, and this year in particular due to the pandemic there may be a much smaller gathering in many homes, just like mine. But the spirit of the day remains close to my heart. Cherish those who love you, give thanks for the blessings received, and express gratitude and wonder for those moments yet to come.
May you all have a day of rest, replenishment, companionship, and cheer. Be safe.