Snow covers the ground today---four inches, fluffy white, quieting the world. The woodstove and napping dogs complete the picture, not to mention the pumpkin pie. Today we head to Touchstone Farm in Easthampton, MA, for a community Thanksgiving meal and sacred circle dancing. Our far-flung families celebrate with us in spirit today, as we choose to remain close to home for the holiday weekend.
My entry last night was the preamble to today's. Before giving thanks, I often feel the need to acknowledge the lack that I see as well---not the lack in my own life, but that which exists in the lives of others. Although Thanksgiving's essence of family and gratitude makes it one of my favorite holidays (despite it being a National Day of Mourning for Native Americans), I cannot indulge in the conspicuous consumption without some dedicated thoughts turned towards those who suffer while I feast. As daozen Fox pointed out in the comments to yesterday's post, one must not let despair rule one's life. There is always suffering. True enough, hence time taken now to give thanks.
I give thanks for my lovely and dedicated wife, Mary, my favorite chef, fellow traveller, my shining star and life companion.
I give thanks for my talented, intelligent and compassionate son, whose presence on this Earth is one of Life's greatest blessings.
I give thanks for my lovely and humble home, surrounded by trees and kind neighbors, inhabited by two very special unconditionally loving canine friends.
I give thanks for my well-loved immediate and extended families, Mary's family, and all the things that family means.
I give thanks for the abundance of friends, love, music, natural foods, nature, opportunity, ample work, physical health, and blessings bestowed upon me in this current incarnation, despite my frequent guilt over my comfort and abundance.
Daozen Fox stated the following so very poignantly in his comments last night:
"Your breath, and the dying's, and the planet's are one. The suffering of divine consciousness trapped in these shells is our destiny. Knowing this is what makes us 'human'....but we cannot despair forever---for that means to lose all hope. We do not despair when we know we are doing our best. Beings will never be free of physical suffering, but try your best to free yourself from self-judgement and despair."
What more to say? I give thanks.