Thanksgiving is really a lovely time of year; I think it is the one holiday that hasn't been ridiculously commercialized with greeting cards and shopping extravaganzas (only speaking for Canada here) and turned into some politically correct event that people end up tippy-toeing around. If you have heard about people switching from saying "Merry Christmas" to the non-denominational "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" you know what I mean. When I was growing up, this holiday was a weekend to enjoy delicious food from my mom and dad's farm, and spend time hanging out with usually at least one grandparent, maybe a neighbor, or the boyfriend of the minute, or whoever happened to stop by the house for the feast. I loved helping my mom bake dozens of pies, enjoying the fragrant bliss wafting out of the oven, and later meticulously scooping the filling out of my slice (who am I kidding... SLICES) and handing the crust over to my dad. The last few years that I haven't been home to celebrate with my family I have been lovingly "adopted" for the day, and there is plenty of reason to express thanks for that as well. So far, 2009 has been nothing short of absolutely incredible, and I feel like it is only appropriate to show a little reverence for all the good that has come to me.
These are just a few of the things I am grateful for...
~My family because I think they think I am a little crazy, and they worry about me an awful lot, but they love and support me anyways. I LOVE YOU
~My study of yoga, because it has granted me a lot of peace, and taken away a lot of physical pain leftover from the years of trying to force my body to comply with the ballet aesthetic.
~My past experiences, good and bad, because they give me something to relate my present life to.
~My health: this has been the healthiest year of my life (knock on wood), even while spending most of it in developing countries, and questioning what might be taking up residence in my intestines.
~Studying at KPJAYI in India, learning about surrender and devotion and getting a glimpse of what it means to be patient, as well as crossing paths with some of the loveliest people in the world
~The opportunity to live in Indonesia and have so many adventures, and while I am here, a job that is really useful to others.
~The kindness of strangers.
~The generosity of the universe. One of the friends that I made in India talked ceaselessly about the power of the universe, and ever since I have been throwing my dreams out into the world, they have been coming back to me in the best possible manifestations. It's a pretty big deal!
~My friends who became family. Being away from my family so much of the time has allowed for a few special people in my life to take on these roles with reckless abandon. I LOVE YOU
"I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." ~G.K. Chesterton
"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light." ~Albert Schweitzer