Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gratitude Humbles Me

As a child, 4th of July ranked as the premier holiday in my book: summer time, a parade, the picnic food (i.e. potato chips), the bonfires, the s'mores, the fireworks, red flares lining the perimeter or the lake, catching fire flies, the late night with friends. But as I've gotten older most holidays don't excite me anymore. The Big Ones (i.e. Christmas and Easter - which I'd love to celebrate as fantastic solstice festivals with like-minded folks but have not found a way to make that happen...yet) are too Jesus-ified for my taste.

Enter Thanksgiving. Lots of really good food, family, friends (if you're fortunate enough to have friends in the mix with family), people feeling generous of spirit, no gifts other than shared edible/drinkable items, no unnecessary worship of imaginary higher beings. If you want to make the day about your particular god I don't really care. For me it's one of the few holidays I can enjoy without pretending. Life is filled with so many moments of pretending. It's nice not to pretend sometimes.

In no particular order, the top 10 Thanks Givings go to:

1. My friend Nancy beat cancer this year and she let her friends be part of the journey.
2. My mom and dad are healthy and besides loving them, I like them too.
a. same can be said for my brother, SIL, nephew and even my in-laws!!!
3. People once classified as "hiking friends" have become so much more than just people to hike with.
4. Chip, who still seems to think I'm a pretty cool person to spend time with. We laugh a lot. We play music together in our living room. We read books together and talk about them. We cook our meals together and eat them at the dining room table. He was okay with me not working for 6 glorious months. He puts up with my moodiness.
5. My home: although it leaks, smells like musty crawl space sometimes and causes all sorts of other annoyances, it still provides warm, comfortable shelter and is happiest when filled with friends, family, food and music.
6. I have a really cute, fluffy black cat with more personality than some people.
7. Although I don't have a "real" sister, I've been friends with Gigi for about 28 of my 34 my book, we're sisters by choice.
8. Music, music, music: listening, discovering, playing, sharing, making.
9. Having the opportunity to apologize to someone I thought I'd never find.
10. Two friends who have helped me on the path of exploring what it means to exist in this world: Tom. Michael. Although I don't see either of you often, your impact on my life has been immeasurable.

So, my experiment didn't really pan out. Next week I start a new job as the Audiologist for the Springfield, VT hospital. I'm going right back to what I know I don't really want to do. I'm thankful for the training I have and the fortunate opportunity to use those skills locally. But I'm disappointed in myself for not daring to discover something different.

Thanks for reading. Stay warm, eat good food, drink good drinks, give more hugs.

Cozy Toes going into hibernation.