It’s Thanksgiving morning. Mrs. M is getting ready to toss the turkey breast into the oven and then take her morning constitutional. The Spawn is claiming the time-honored right of the college student to sack in, and I’m in my usual spot in the den, thinking about doing some grading as the swell of Gradeapalooza draws nearer.
But before I do that, best to acknowledge the purpose of the day. While I tend toward a Housmanesque or Robinsonian view of life’s larger picture, that doesn’t mean that I’m unaware of beauties and blessings as they arise. Housman also wrote “Loveliest of Trees,” after all. And so…
First of all, I’m thankful for my family, the one I had and the one I have. Each member has given me gifts of one sort or another, and even the burdens that come with loving people are weights that have made me grow in order to bear them.
I’m grateful for my job. I know the odds against getting to do what I do, and I know how few people get to have jobs they enjoy. As I approach the end of a semester in which I’ve developed a new course, I’m thankful that I’ve had students who have been able to rise to the subject, and who remind me that the big questions of life have value, even if we never entirely agree on the answers.
I’m thankful for art, music, and writing — for the day I spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art last December, for the nights I got to spend making music with the Berries and helping people have a good time, for the stories I’ve been able to write and the people who value them. I’m thankful for the music and writing I’ve discovered this year, and for the songs and stories to which I return time and again over the years.
I’m thankful to have turned away from the madness of politics as much as I can. I’m thankful that few people behave in life as they do on social media. I’m grateful for friendships, for connections, whether obvious or inscrutable, that draw and bind us together.
And I’m grateful to and for each of you reading this — for you who take a few seconds or minutes to listen to what I have to say, for those of you who comment and those who don’t. Our world contains so much noise that it’s a miracle that we have any attention to share at all; I’m humbled that you choose to share some with me.
May today and every day bring you things for which to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.