It's Thanksgiving. What does that mean? That it's officially fall? Well yes, we do have a slight change in the weather from the intense summer heat here in The Bahamas, but there are no leaves changing, no colorful gords decorating my tabletop and no scarecrows being exposed in the decaying remnants of the final corn crops of the season. Does it mean that we are celebrating the pilgrims? Short, pale white folk in cockle hats with oversized and most likely underutilized buckles? Are we celebrating the start of mass chaos, over-consumerism, overconsumption and gluttony that is the holiday season? Or did that start back at Halloween, along with a constant barrage of 700 different versions of Jingle Bells assaulting you around every corner?
Well, I do have to say, that I am fairly impressed with my social media feeds on this day. Yes, there is the odd gratuitous turkey post (turkeys, just like Christmas trees - we pick one unfortunate living creature to associate with a holiday and raise it in order to destroy it), but for the most part, I see people giving thanks for friends and family and the blessings bestowed upon them in their lives. That, to me, is the spirit of Thanksgiving. Or reverse it, Giving Thanks.
This Thanksgiving I decided not to purchase a turkey. I don't need to be an added number to 46 million turkeys consumed by Americans on Thanksgiving. Instead, I'd prefer some fresh caught mahi, home cooked Indian curry, or perhaps Chinese takeout. This Thanksgiving, sadly, isn't surrounded by my family, which has given a slight melancholy cast on the day, paired with a high-level layer of clouds in an otherwise sunny enviro. But I give thanks, just the same. I give thanks for the wonderful community of people I have found here in The Bahamas. I give thanks for those I have met throughout my travels, who, although our encounters may have been brief, touched my life in ways that will never be forgotten. I give thanks for a roof over my head (maybe not a finished one, but it keeps the rain out), and a wonderful partner to share my life with. And I give thanks for my family. Despite distance, years, change, gain and loss, have been there for me, through and through.
The spirit of Thanksgiving is just taking a moment - whether you are surrounded by a gluttonous table of unending side dishes, or treating it as any other day - to give sincere gratitude to the blessings in your life. You may want more, you may think you need more, but I assure you, all you really need is with you in this very moment.