As I settle my well-fed and stuffed body into my porch chair, I think about the Thanksgiving holiday this year. The holiday was a bit different for most of us this time around. To me at least, the Thanksgiving holiday means God, family and friends, and of course – food. I can imagine that I am not too far off from the original Thanksgiving holiday traditions of the past generations. We all have our favorite memories of past holidays and each family has created their own particular traditions that makes Thanksgiving, well, complete.
This year because of the Corona virus pandemic, those traditions were tossed out the window and suddenly everyone was wondering how to cope with the “new normal”. Some politicians wanted to ban family gatherings at the Thanksgiving table entirely, while others took a more realistic approach and preached the appropriate social distancing to keep the virus transmission at bay. I did notice that my family was sitting farther apart than normal at the dinner table this year. Now that the feast has passed, and I have time to sit and enjoy my cigar after the day’s events, I muse about what I am thankful for…
Fall has traditionally been the time to bring in the harvest from the fields and storing it into barns and silos for use during the cold winter months. In other words, Thanksgiving came about as a period to rest and reflect and give thanks after a busy harvest season. I was also busy this summer growing as much food as possible and preserving my harvest. The pandemic lock downs and food and supply shortages quickly drove home the importance of having a food stockpile on hand for emergencies. I grew a fair sized garden this year and I was blessed with a bountiful harvest here at the farm. Now I look upon all of the rows of neatly stacked jars of preserved vegetables in our pantry and I feel comfortable and secure because of my work in the garden. I am truly thankful for the land that I have to sustain my family during the lean times.
I am also thankful for the people who came and left my life this past year. I don’t have many friends. I am a loner by choice and I am the most comfortable when I have solitude. That being said, the few friends that I do know placed a warmth in my heart that’s difficult to describe. I have always gravitated towards older people for my close friends, as I love to listen and learn from their vast well of experience. Sadly, I lost two friends this year whom I will always remember with love and profound respect. Their voices and laughter are silent now. It was a privilege to have them as a part of my life.
I am thankful for so many things that I tend to take for granted; blessings from the Lord, my wonderful wife, my sweet fur babies, and my health, to name just a few. My family makes my life come full circle and I simply cannot imagine life without them. Have you ever stopped for a moment to think about were you would be if it were not for being grounded and kept alive by the love and commitment of your spouse?
Thanksgiving is to me about reflection more than anything else. Reflection upon my blessings, family, friends, and sometimes sheer luck. I truly pity the person who never takes the time to notice all that happens around them. As for me, I may not notice right away if I am being helped, but I feel it eventually and I am thankful.
Today as I sit and think about things such as these, I know that life has a larger purpose than the everyday mundane. It is up to me to try and understand and recognize that.