Thanksgiving Day brunch bread made with the Good Food Store’s gluten-free mix (sold in bulk), topped with drunken tangerines swimming in honey, Amish butter and week-old Rex-Goliath Chardonnay saved for cooking.
More often than not, Thanksgiving catches us mid-stream, mid-life. We have spent far more Thanksgivings away from home than in our own kitchen. In fact, only once have we cooked a Thanksgiving meal in the house we own. Many years, we traveled south to see family in California. Many other years, we spent the day in foreign places where the holiday wasn’t recognized. One Thanksgiving morning, we rose before dawn to ride an elephant through tall grasses to a spot where endangered rhinos fed their young. The next year, we toured an organic farm in northern Thailand. Perhaps most memorable was the Thanksgiving we spent in Cambodia, following street sweepers through Phnom Penh as they hauled the city’s mess to the dump. That day showed us exactly how much we have in life to make us thankful. The list is long, and it continues to grow:
~The big stuff: family, friends, good health, daily meals and shelter from the rain and cold.
~Peace and security
~A homeland that remains intact (even when it doesn’t appear to be so)
~Political change in places that need it
~A planet that never ceases to amaze
~All the creatures that share this world—birds in the trees, squirrels on the roof, deer in the yard
~A job that teaches me new things every day
~The freedom to pursue those lessons
~A fertile landscape that feeds us
~Oceans, lakes and rivers that quench our thirst and that of the land
~The physics of weather, to keep this Earth functional
~Sunrise and sunset
~The night sky
~Kitchens and everything they offer
~Books, the people who write them, the people who publish them, the people who read them
~Music and all the ways humanity has invented it
~Art and all the ways it makes us think
~A life in which cultures continually change
~A list like this, with the eternal capacity to expand
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!