If you were to take a poll of countries around the world, you wouldn’t find many that set aside a day of Thanksgiving as a national holiday. The United States is among the few that actually have this custom enshrined in law and practice, and it is not necessarily the worst idea our government has ever run up the flagpole. With an eye to the incoming government’s decisions that have yet to be put into action – and it’s hard not to be braced for the worst – it’s important to take a moment or two and consider the concept of thankfulness.
I am thankful for a rainy day paddle on Puget Sound, with dark wavelets tapping on the weather side of of my hull and a hat pulled down low on my eyes. Thankful for the tea in the thermos and the knowledge that in another few hours, I’ll be pulling up my chair to the family table, and eating all kinds of seasonal fare, then waddling back for seconds. I am thankful for a day of peace and rest, and thankful for the wood stove too.
I know, however, that it is not a day of peace for everyone, not even within our own borders. It is hard to stop looking at the reports out of North Dakota, where even as I type this, people are being shot at with water cannon and tear gassed, Americans torturing other Americans, for money. The video and photos are hard to watch and yet impossible to ignore and there’s no arguing about whether all this one-sided violence is justified. (It isn’t.)
I am thankful for my life, for my family and the warmth and safety I enjoy. I would be even more thankful if everyone could say the same.