Thanksgiving has always been my most favorite holiday of the year. It's not the turkey, the pies, the variety of salads and veggies. It's not the cozy sleepiness afterward. I love Thanksgiving because of it's meaning, the whole concept of giving thanks for what we have, what we share, and taking an entire day--or weekend--to count blessings.
I love celebrating Thanksgiving because there is no expectations to give presents, go shopping, wear some kind of special outfit--unless you enjoy dressing as a pilgrim--or any of the things associated with most other holiday celebrations.
Here is my abbreviated list of things I am thankful for:
- My family, both immediate family and extended family, who have always supported me, even when my decisions were questionable.
- My friends, both those in the past and in the present. I have been blessed that people pass through my life and always leave me something amazing for having been there. Some people were friends for short periods of time--a year or two, while a few have been friends with me for more than 40 years. That's a long time to still care about someone.
- My church community. I am especially blessed to be with the community I am in now. Though I have always valued the churches that have been a part of my life, this one feels particularly like home.
- The beautiful location where I live--Portland, Oregon. I have lived in many places over my 60+ years of life--east coast, west coast, the south, and the midwest. I have traveled to Europe, Australia, and the Middle East. Although everywhere I've been has something amazing to offer, for me Portland has it all--easy access to deserts, mountains, forests, rivers and the ocean. Mostly temperate weather, but the opportunity to get to snow or sunshine within a few hours.
- Writers and Musicians who have brought me so much joy. I am fortunate to be part of both of these creative communities that feed my soul. No one understand the creative journey more than someone who is also pursuing that journey. No one else can understand the silence and often lonely act of creation, and the struggle to share it with others. It is a unique baring of the soul that most careers do not require and one that I do not take for granted in others. I am thankful to have so many creative people in my life.