Americans traditionally gather on the fourth Thursday of November each year to give thanks.
This year’s Thanksgiving observances and/or celebrations, depending on one’s perspective or situation is a day away. Each year at this time, some people, including us, pause to take stock of where we are and what, if anything, we have for which to be thankful. Invariably, most Americans don’t have to look very far to see they have plenty of reasons to be thankful.
From the news reported on traditional newsprint, such as The Aegis, or the evening news on local or national telecasts, or news on the ubiquitous social media platforms, many of us have a lot, comparatively, for which we should give thanks.
The most obvious is that a place called Paradise is anything but in the wake of devastating California wildfires. Instead of “Paradise Lost,” as John Milton’s epic poem from the 1660s is so famously known, the small California town of Paradise is more a case of Paradise Burned or Paradise Destroyed. For all intents and purposes, Paradise, California is forever lost. Tragically, so are some of its people.
There are people in the Carolinas – North and South – whose lives are not fully recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Florence in September.
Havre de Grace Mayor William T. Martin spoke for many Americans when he said at Monday night’s city council meeting that “I’m thankful the election is over.”
At such a joyous time as Thanksgiving, the reality check wasn’t meant to depress, but rather to remind the majority of us of the bounty most of us have for which to give thanks.
For those with a roof over our heads and young children who follow the oft-told tale of Indians and Pilgrims sitting down for a meal to give thanks for a bountiful harvest, and the cornucopia it represents, are reasons enough to give thanks. (Cornucopia? There’s a word almost never heard outside of an elementary school, though figuratively so many of us have horns of plenty that are overflowing.)
When it comes to giving thanks, the fourth Thursday in November, celebrating Thanksgiving Day, there’s nothing better than the simpler times of elementary school, fables from pre-Colonial times and holidays of childhoods past.
So as you travel this week and weekend, or welcome travel-weary family and friends for days of feasts, football and other celebratory traditions, count your blessings and the blessings of those around you.
No matter your worries, remember there are others around you and around our blessed nation who have much less to be thankful for, yet the less fortunate will find reason to give thanks for what they have, rather than what they don’t.
We all should do the same, setting aside differences where they exist, or being thankful for all the places they don’t.
Give thanks on Thursday, and all the days that follow. Enjoy a blessed, happy and safe Thanksgiving Weekend.