Thanksgiving week is here! Thanksgiving ushers in my favorite time of the year. The sights, smells and sounds of fall and winter bring back fond memories of growing up in the north with the falling autumn leaves turning to freshly fallen snow as the days got colder. I remember raking mountains of leaves in the back yard with my sisters and diving into the freshly formed piles. Our lives seemed much simpler then.
Now, even in the midst of a world wide economic crisis, national healthcare debates and unspeakable crimes in the news, there’s still something about this season that gives me hope and joy. The season ushers in a time when we increase our efforts at feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless and bringing a smile on the faces of children all over the world. When I see how millions of people, all over the world, reach deep into pockets that are emptier than they were in years past, it reminds me that at our core, we can be divinely human, and I am eternally thankful for that.
I’m also thankful that I live in a country where I’m free to openly express my faith without persecution. I’m grateful that I live in a country where as a woman I, at least on paper, have as many rights as a man. I’m grateful for a seemingly endless supply of books and knowledge that I have at my fingertips via the Internet or my local Barnes and Noble. I’m thankful that my parents made me read newspapers and do reports in the summer when I was a kid, so that I could consume information about the world around me. I’m grateful for nearly forty years of making mistakes, and being smarter and stronger for having made them.