Making the Best of Thanksgiving: Present Tense Edition

Who could have imagined that Thanksgiving would arrive so soon? Breathe in each scent of pumpkin spice, letting your body fill with air until a smooth, subtle calmness takes over. Then breathe out all that does not serve you for this Thanksgiving. Ditch the politics, worrying over dirty dishes, fussing over the right outfit. None of that matters today. 

For one day, one singular day, I challenge you to put away that pesky phone. The one that chains you inside even on the sunniest of afternoons. Power down those computers, and all of the other devices that suck away precious time, corrupting the brain with unfiltered media and unwarranted diet tips. 

Have you ever heard of The Book of Delights by Ross Gay? It is a beautiful collection of Delights from everyday life. Yes, Delights deserves a capital D here. For exactly one year, from age forty-two to forty-three, Ross Gay recorded each Delight that he discovered. Some of the Delights are as simple as a seedy sunflower, while others intricately Delight in the wonders of death and new beginnings.  

After reading this glorious book, I began to look for my own Delights and recorded them in my little blue journal with my pink pen. After taking some time to purposely notice the hidden beauty, the hidden beauty started to come into my vision without having to search as hard. Little yellow porch swings on houses that I always used to run by but somehow always missed, a mother pushing her giggling daughter in a fuchsia stroller, sunny side eggs cooked to perfection. Toast burned just right. 

For much of my life, I haven't given much thought to the meaning of Thanksgiving, other than what we learn about in elementary school. Something about a celebratory feast where both Native American allies and the Pilgrims shared a table. But so much is untrue about what really occurred. Too many facts left out, and not enough reliable sources. 

This Thanksgiving seems like the right year to re-evaluate. To recognize the Delights around us. Whether that means sharing a traditional meal, cooking a turkey for the first time ever, trying each cheese on the charcuterie board (even the stinky one!), or listening to how the different types of leaves sound crunching beneath your shoes. 

This year, Thanksgiving is truly a celebration of how far we have come. We all just lived through another election, we are still currently living through a worldwide pandemic. You may be thinking… what could we possibly control? We have the power of thought. We have the ability to create strong mindsets and positive outlooks on life. Our strong-willed mentality has brought us thus far. We might as well take the time to thank ourselves, our close friends, and our families.  

So please, enjoy all of the apple pie. Soak in the warmth of steam emitting from the top of the sweet potato casserole. Open your eyes to all of the Delights that may have always been there but had never been noticed before. 

 

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