–So it doesn’t hurt to have a national day dedicated to it, even if that day is fraught with problematic symbolism.
In about an hour, I’m going to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. She’s doing most of the cooking, including the traditional b-i-r-d; we’re contributing a parsnip soup that was my father-in-law’s recipe and my signature Russian tea cookies, from a recipe my mother found ages ago. It’s funny that while I’m a huge chocoholic, my Personal Festal Dessert Recipe is something with no chocolate in it whatsoever, but I don’t know anyone else who bakes these cookies, and everyone seems to like them.
I am thankful for my family today: For my husband, my stepdaughter, our dear friend J. who is hosting the dinner, my birds Rembrandt and Sandro (yes, they’re family), my mother-in-law, and my late father-in-law.
I’m thankful to have a comfortable home, a job I like and can feel good about doing, a sensible and likable boss, and good relations with my co-workers.
I’m thankful for writing, music, books to read, my Amazon Kindle, good health, health insurance, for streaming online video of the science fiction series and British telly that I love. I’m thankful for the wonderful world of Livejournal, Dreamwidth, Tumblr, WordPress, and blogging in general.
I’m thankful for the presence of the god Antinous in my life, for the friendship of so many wild and tame birds, for my magical teachers and the way of Western magic, for the trees that surround me even in the heart of downtown, for the various gods and goddesses who have kept poking into my life and refused to give up, for all that I have learned from Buddhism.
My life is very good, and so much of that is sheer gift. I believe that’s true for all of us. We work hard and we strive, we try to create the life we want, but if we succeed, we owe so much to good fortune, to friends and family who have helped us, to the sheer gratuitousness of the universe. Therefore let us be thankful.
I’m also thankful to the First Nations people of this land who tried to teach my European ancestors how to live here rightly, and probably did keep them from starving. Their graciousness was poorly repaid, and the debt still stands. I vow to be mindful of it.
I wish all my readers a happy Thanksgiving and much for which to be thankful.