The coffee is on, the table set.
I sit down to gather my thoughts, my first cup of steaming Joe warming my hands, before the raucous gathering begins.
Last run to the market done, picking up a few items that we probably could do without, but somehow the hustle bustle of the grocery store, the gorgeous displays of over priced produce, now picked over to reappear on someone’s Thanksgiving table, the check out lines filled with anxious shoppers going over their lists, and checking them twice, draws me back.
I love Thanksgiving, the surfeit of food, the cooking, the scent of turkey roasting in the oven, the menu that includes every carbohydrate known to man, and at least one favorite for each of my children.
So it goes, east coast or west, there is a sameness of the yearly ritual, a comfort that comes from that Norman Rockwell image of family around the table and giving thanks.
Especially this year, as the country breathes a sigh of relief at the end of the endless campaign vitriol, at the conclusion of a vicious race for the White House that ended with most of us shocked at its outcome, many outraged and some quietly gloating and giddily predicting better times to come as others wring their hands and worry.
But as the Obamas ready for one last Turkey Day in the White House, and the Trumps wing it to sunny Mar al Lago, and the Clintons, licking their wounds who knows where, are together with family and friends, it is still a day on this most American of holidays to remind ourselves of all we have and are grateful for.
For our courageous forebears, the Pilgrims and the Indians, who whether or not they really sat down to break bread together, still managed to forage for what to put on the table and brought us to this day. For our incredibly wise forefathers, who even without the help of our surely equally wise foremothers, crafted a system of government that still holds, even today, despite what some may think.
For our own families going back a generation or two or more, who bravely set out for this great country to make a better life for themselves, and for us, and did. And for all the little and not so little ones around our tables, whose future is still glorious, even as it is always in the balance, who will be bequeathed not only the responsibility for Thanksgivings future, but for making those days and years ahead both festive and fruitful, both prosperous and peaceful, both personally fulfilling and communally beneficial.
And for all we’ve been given, and for all we are yet to give.