Thanksgiving Day

Our 2008 Turkey, before I went vegetarian and stopped taking pictures of the turkey.
In the US we have Thanksgiving in November. It is commonly referred to as Turkey Day because that is the most common meal eaten on Thanksgiving. I prefer to call it Thanksgiving because I think Turkey Day diminishes the inherent gratitude in the name of the day. It is one of my favorite holidays of the year and my family usually does it big. As a child we traveled to my Aunt and Uncle's farm in Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving and were treated with a feast, riding of horses, sledding if it had just snowed and friendly loving faces around the table. It was a tradition I loved. It was a long drive for my parents but it is a wonderful memory that I always carry with me. As we got older Thanksgiving became the rallying point of any college semester, a nice break before finals, a chance to see the family and catch up. As an adult it has taken on even more meaning for me. I am more in touch with gratitude. I am more thankful for each year and each moment I have with my family. Over the past five years or so, my parents have hosted both sides of the family several times. It is a lot of people and it is delightful. My parents are wonderful entertainers and cooks. I am always in awe of how they can throw such successful gatherings. Sadly this year I will not be with my family but am grateful that I will be with friends. I have a lot to be thankful for this year, and since I won't be home to share it around the table, here is an abbreviated list. Blessings to all!

- My life. Each breath is an opportunity to be kind and loving to others and myself.

- My parents. Their love and support even in the face of great fear is humbling.

- My  brother. Our evolving relationship is a constant teacher.

- My extended family. My grandmother, cousins, aunts and uncles have all been remarkably supportive of the huge leap I made this year. This was unexpected and inspiring.

- My friends. We are all in a year of transition yet have found a way to support each other through a deep abiding commitment and love to each other. We are all "in it" and I am grateful to have fellow passengers who I love so much.

- The health of all of the above.

- The loving kindness shown to me on the road thus far. Every smile, every suggestion, every hug, every bit of compassion.

- The amazing people I met on leg one of my journey. I could not have asked for a more amazing crew of people to meet along the way. They have thrilled me, inspired me and shown me many new things and perspectives. Their openness is unparalleled.

- Courage. No leap can be made without it, no matter the size or scope of the leap.

- Fear. The perennial teacher that we all try to ignore has been my constant companion this year and it has propelled me forward.

- The ability and desire to travel.

- That I made it through my Nepal trek, it was dicey there for a bit.

- That I had the opportunity to go to Nepal and Bhutan.

-The Leap. The ability to change, adapt and evolve in life if something isn't working, it is a uniquely human ability and I am grateful for all that it encompasses not matter how easy or difficult.

- Every bit of small kindness that I was shown throughout this year of transition, change and upheaval.

- Love. Above all, and in all, it exists and shows us how to live with ourselves, with each other and for each other.

...and green bean casserole! I mean come on it's right up there with mashed potatoes on my list.

What are your Thanksgiving traditions? What are you Thankful for this year?