The dreary month of November is almost over. The shorter days, longer nights and colorless landscape all make for a depressing month. However, at the end of the month of November (in the United States) is the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
This holiday brings people together. Families and friends hop on airplanes, drive miles across the landscape, and find ways to congregate for one special day. In some gatherings the day is about food, others celebrate sports, some focus on getting caught up and connecting over a very large meal.
This day brings young and old to the same table. Stories are shared (the same stories year after year sometimes!) and memories are made.
This is also a day to bring in the outsiders – those people with no family nearby. People new to the area. People with no place to go.
I read in the paper recently that Thanksgiving Day often has more people volunteering than recipients needing meals. The paper suggested the ‘do-gooders’ bring paper products, donate cash and sign up for weekly opportunities instead of the “Big Day.” Inviting those people who are displaced for one reason or another is a good way to ‘do-good’ in a grand way. The benefits include a feeling of well-being, sharing some of the huge amount of food, meeting someone new, hearing new stories and seeing the world in a new way.
I always liked Thanksgiving when there were many people around. I liked the noise and chaos. I liked the abundance of mashed potatoes, corn, dark turkey meat and apple pie. I like the conversation and laughter. I believe there is something sacred when people come together.
To my family and friends near and far, to my blogging friends and online connections – I salute you and give thanks for your presence in my life.