But, I’m not. Really. I mean it.
It’s just that this is a complicated meal, and I don’t have a professional kitchen. And I don’t like to be frazzled and freaked. So I plan it like a major military operation.
I don’t do it but once a year. I swear.
See at Christmas, we don’t make nearly the fuss. In fact we often have left-over stuffing and cranberry sauce. Anything that freezes well and is not eaten by Sunday following Thanksgiving. I might do a duck, or it might be steak. We definitely don’t make a big deal of it.
Why? Have no idea. Mostly I suspect it’s because I have very specific ideas of what Christmas should be, and it can never live up to those expectations, so I don’t try to force it. So call me whatever.
Anyway, I’m done with the prep and cooking for today, and all turned out well. I expect tomorrow to go along smoothly. The turkey feels like it’s defrosted. There is plenty of room in the fridge for stuff.
But that’s not what I have to say today. You see, through all the busyness, all the wafting odors of pumpkin pie and Italian sausage and onions sauteing, my mind was somewhere else. Thankfully not so far afield that I put poultry seasoning in the pie, or oranges in the dressing. But, I guess I was offering prayers to all those I know who are having a tough time these days for diverse reasons.
As I babble about relish trays and gravy, I am all too mindful that friends of mine, Internet ones who live in various parts of the states, are suffering. Some are having financial woes and some are having health issues, or family disturbances. The holidays won’t be of concern to them. But they will be in pain from the loss of joy that they are supposed to be having, and aren’t.
I am mindful that millions are subsisting, barely in Haiti and in Pakistan. That millions more are victims of genocidal attack and famine. I am mindful that some are living in war-torn lands, never safe. I am thoughtful of those who exist in vicious regimes where they are treated as little more than fodder for the demagogues who rule them.
I am thinking of animals who are mistreated and who have no loving home, those whose habitats are being erased while they are eliminated as pests. I am thinking of all our oceans and rain forests under attack by a humanity that is more filled with greed than sense or compassion.
I ache for a planet under assault through indifference and deliberate rape.
And I pray to God to heal all that are in need. And that would be all of us. Our need of healing is broad and deep. It is physical and mental and emotional and psychological. We are mean, selfish, stricken with disease and burdened by the vagaries of aging. We are scared, angry, and melancholy for a time that in truth never existed but which we think did, when things were okay.
We are luckier than we think, and sadder than we realize. We are a mass of contradictions, and slave to forces that we barely realize. We identify enemies where there are none, and haven’t the presence of mind to recognize the enemies that are real.
We have more than most any people on this planet and we do less with it. We waste, and we consume and we ignore any responsibility for the tragic mess we leave behind as we gaily proceed down the highway toward some Disneyworld future. We will never get there, and we are unable to stop trying. We are careening headlong over a cliff and we cannot stop.
Stop if you dare, for a moment or two, and look around you. Make no comparisons with those who have more. But do compare what you have to those who have less. Those who have nothing. Hug the people around you who, come what may, have thrown in with you to take this journey. Pet the dog and cat. Look at anything living around you and give thanks.
For you are alive through no act of your own. It is way better than the alternative. Give thanks to whatever thing you believe in, and while at it, think about what you can do on a regular basis to make this world, or one person in it, just a little warmer, better, saner, or happier than before you drifted by.
And give thanks every day, EVERY DAY. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, whom I so adore.