It’s a tough time to celebrate Thanksgiving, for sure.
As we sit with our families over a meal, a lot of bad things are going on in this world. Yes, I am thankful that we aren’t sitting front lines to terrible atrocities happening right now.
As I’m looking back on a pretty tumultuous year for me and my family, I know a lot of great things happened this year too. Yes, I am thankful for all the blessings we all have had.
As I worry for my daughter growing up in this world everyday, I know she’s been learning and growing with a firm sense of self and wonder. Yes, I am grateful that she is such a rad kid.
As I know I have been dealing with a lot of personal highs and lows this year. As I loose friends and learn to cope with a new loneliness, I have also been learning a lot of new things about myself in the process. Yes, I am thankful for my own personal growth.
I miss my cousins and our family Thanksgivings spent together.
I miss friends that can’t be with me today.
I wish this could be a joining together with everyone to celebrate, but I just am not into pretending like everything is okay right now.
For the first time in my life, I am choosing to spend Thanksgiving outdoors, with a bowl of some turkey chili instead of the usual feast. I don’t feel like sharing in the holiday spirit. I don’t feel like overeating, then feeling terrible about myself the next day as I stuff my face with leftovers. I don’t want to contribute to the capitalist agendas that surround the holiday.
For the first time in the 8 years that I’ve lived in California, the fear of being brown in rural areas actually concerned me. Years ago, I got lost in rural Kentucky and asked directions from a big guy with a confederate flag tattooed on his arm, and THAT incident seemed less anxious than current times.
I am choosing to spend my time up north with 3 of our closest of friends. We are staying in a small cabin converted from a train caboose, in the middle of a couple of great California National Parks, National Forests, and State Parks. I am grateful for ALL of those things.
I need to go back to nature, and get back to the that which has taught me some very true things:
- The world changes like the seasons of the year, you will need to adapt.
- You will have challenges along the way; it may rain or you may fall, but you will get through it.
- Everything grows naturally, from a little bit of care.
- A little bit of trash makes a big difference, only collectively can we keep it clean.
- Dawn still rises, even after the darkest of nights.
Hoping to return back with a little comfort and some new energy, because it’s really been a mental struggle since coming back from Scandinavia. It’s been a long time now since my days of a “wake and bake” Thanksgiving, and I am opting for a little bit of clarity. In need of some nature therapy to help bring a fresh dose of perspective. Because, in the end, I still have lots to be thankful for.
Featured image: My family in Copenhagen