On the morrow is Thanksgiving. As always I am looking forward to eating mashed potatoes and seeing family, but I am also caught up in reflection, in what I am grateful for. I am thankful for the great harvest feast had in Plymouth in the famous and poorly documented “First Thanksgiving” of 1621. But moreover I am thankful for the little things in life.
I am thankful for conversations that go deep into that night, sinuous chats that have no real purpose or direction but seem to enlighten nonetheless. I am thankful for friends that understand you at an intense and visceral level. I am grateful for the vastness of this earth, the mystery and chance for discovery in new towns and distant countries. I am thankful for books, for without them I would lead a much emptier life. I am thankful for the pen, allowing me to create parallel realities and document my life. I am grateful for a family that never wavers in their capacity to love. I am thankful for soft T-shirts, cause those are just down right comfy. I am thankful for athletics for they bring a sense of adrenaline and competition that you cannot find elsewhere. I am thankful for the beauty of the world found in so many diverse and unexpected places. I am likewise thankful for photography, the ability to capture beauty in a single moment. I am grateful for affection. I am grateful for music. I am grateful for my faith that fortifies my limited self. I am thankful for love, sometimes a confusing and elusive power, in its purest form it changes and ameliorates this world.
The list could go on ad infinitum. I think the beauty of Thanksgiving is it is just one more reminder to us that we are blessed, and that we have much to be thankful for. It is too easy to focus on what we don’t have, on what we cannot have, or what we desperately want. But there is so much in front of us, beneath our obtuse noses to complain and be ungrateful. So this harvest season let us remember the Puritans, let us remember Squanto and the coming together of the Pilgrims and Indians. But mostly, let us open our eyes to the beauty that is around us, let us live presently and realize the blessing that life is. And while we devour turkey and stuffing, let us look around at those next to us and say Thank You.
Who suffers from a chronic and totally avoidable case of laziness? Anybody have the narcissistic condition of neglecting important things in life in lieu of doing what you want? Well, I will speak for myself. I often suck at life. I make long lists of things to do, only to find myself adding new boxes to check, with easier and more menial tasks. I daily and weekly goals to change and better myself, only to convince myself in the moment that I would be better off just reading a book. I have debt and other seemingly endless matters of unfinished business that I would rather not attend to. Bottom line, I can be a walking, or more accurately laying on my bed-disaster. Murphy’s Law doesn’t miss a single day with me. If I don’t have car problems, I have relationship problems, and if by some cosmic grace I do not have a worry in my soul, something unexpected will surely spiral out of control on the morrow leaving a detritus of unplanned pain and turmoil. This is life. I am not a pessimist, and am not one to obsessively self-deprecate. My point is life is rocky and stupid most of the time. And most of the time I resolve to change my life tomorrow. I wait for New Years’ Resolutions. I wait for my next birthday, my next job, my next milestone. A few months ago I even decided maybe with the coming of the Fall Equinox I would make some needed alterations in my life. There is nothing intensely special about an equinox, but it symbolizes a change; a change in time, a change it climate. Perhaps the difference in light and darkness seems trivial, but the ripples of this astronomical event can be infinite. And so it is with our lives. Simply deciding to change your life tomorrow, or on Thanksgiving, or on Friday, or on Easter Sunday can produce infinite ripples in the sea of your life.
So, the autumnal equinox has passed without any grand efforts or changes on my part. I can wait for the winter solstice, or even hold out for the spring equinox to make new goals and create a new me. But I do not want to wait. Maybe I will use those dates, and January 1st to reassess things, but I want to start the rest of my life today. In fact, I think I will start when I finish writing this piece. There are things I want to do, and I must do them while the night is youthful. Carpe Noctum.
What if I fail? What if tonight my wild dreams prove overzealous and unreasonable? Oh the glory and blessing of tomorrow. Tomorrow can be our new year, tomorrow can be the day that we forget about our shortcomings and dominate the future. So find your next equinox, set back your clocks and live again.
“It’s the first day of spring, and my life is starting over again.” ~Noah and The Whale