Thanksgiving is truly an American holiday. Memories triggered by the food and turkey that is cooked, family being together, and football. Disrupted this year, in part, because of Covid. Smaller gatherings, less opportunities to be with each other, and caution/uncertainty in the air as to when life will return to normal.
What’s interesting about the day is that there is little focus on the act of giving thanks. Too busy preparing. Or selfishly waiting for the meal to be prepared. Anxiously waiting for Black Friday and Christmas shopping to be in full swing.
Giving thanks never appears on our calendar or to do list. We never stop to reflect on what we have received from others in our lives or even from life itself. Instead of making present in our minds the abundance of joy and gifts we have been given, we simply continue to focus on what’s next or what’s wrong or missing.
Thank you’s missing pieces are so close to us yet we rarely see them. Our health. Parents. Children. Family. Friends. The shores of gratitude are vast and far reaching. For patience. Understanding. Compassion. Concern. And love. Of oneself, our neighbor as well as the stranger before us. Why even our challenges sometimes deserve a thanks for what they have allowed us to become by facing them.
Our Thanksgiving traditions trample the missing pieces of thanks to where they are unrecognizable in the moment. Revealing to us once again that it requires our effort and interest to move past the false idea that technology solves all – back into a simpler, more real and intense, world of human emotion and awareness of life at its core. Beautiful, surprising, and energizing.
Give thanks to everything outside of this Thanksgiving day. It’s the missing pieces that money can’t buy that has the greatest value. If only we could see and touch them regularly.