“There is a crack, a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” –Leonard Cohen
Today, the farm is quiet. It is clear, frosty, and golden out there. Inside, the fire is kindled, the coffee made. It will be a slow day. Tonight, we will have a small feast with the grandfolks. Simple. Wonderful.
I love Thanksgiving a whole lot. I love that it is on the eve of advent, of deep winter. That we are done with harvest for a bit, that I can wish for snow and not worry about trying to gather vegetables from under it. That magic fills the cold air. But more than anything, I love it because I love giving thanks. Whenever I slip into meditation or deep relaxation in a yoga class, this is the feeling that floods my veins. I am so damn grateful, for it all.
All the wonderful, obvious things, sure.
But perhaps even stronger still is the gratitude for the rest of it. All my mistakes–and there are plenty. All the hard times–and there are plenty of these too. Every good and bad part, mixed together into the story of this life. For all of that, I am thankful.
I haven’t always felt this way. Most of us, probably, start our journey into adulthood with some notion of a happily ever after that is all “good”. But one of the blessings, in my mind, of growing older is the hazy way the good and bad start to blur into a deep, vibrant hue that is all its own and that is far richer and more complex than any of our youthful black and whites. Everything begins to shine golden, not just the sparkly parts.
And since I’ve been at this for a while now, and because it is now my second nature, I come to this day easily, gracefully. I like that. But I get that it isn’t like that for all of us all the time, so please forgive my gushing, I am sure it can be annoying at times. Because the truth is this, it is all a mess, for all of us, I just happen to think that it is a beautiful mess.
But, it did take time. Honesty. Forgiveness, of all kinds. Open eyes. An open heart. Trust me, with these, the thankfulness will come.
But for me, now, this is my practice, my breath, each day. And so, each year, on this day, I find myself with lots to write about. Just for fun, this year, I rounded them all up–2008, 2009, 2010, 2011(1, 2, 3), 2012 (1,2,3). If you look through them, you will see that there is both a progression and a sameness. So is life.
Today, my list is short and sweet. I also find that the tiniest element of humor is there, which for my serious, somber self is a good sign. I think that as I get older, in this regard, I am getting younger. And lightening is nice.
So 2013! Let’s get something down, for the record!
Right now, I am thankful for:
- time to write, whenever and whatever, even on Thanksgiving morning!
- phone cameras, instagram filters, and an easy, quick way to satisfy the creative impulse in my busy farmer-mama days
- three year olds, for perspective (and for keeping me humble)
- the smell of three year old nurslings, like the pheromones of a man, which have been shown to calm and bring a sense of well being to a woman when she is held, putting my nose to my son’s head and holding him in my arms still regulates my nervous system instantly, just like when he was a babe–I think this is related to the circularly perfect nursing relationship. So, whenever I get a little worked up, all I have to do is pick up this boy and inhale.
- acorn squash–a seriously fine replacement for former fave, delicata squash
- the always forgiving and in love man that is my husband
- AjjA Wood, taking off beyond our dreams
- all of the members of our farm family for their continued support and participation in our farming and eating adventure
- good food–that feeds my body and my soul and keeps my family healthy–from our land and the land of our neighbors and this valley, a veritable garden of eden
- the most perfect growing season on (our) record–I am more than imaginably thankful for this one (farmers live and die by the weather)
- three “big” kids–this one is bittersweet, but it is also a lot of fun to see these sweet little ones grow up, and it makes having just one “little” one seem so stinking easy!
- a home, we owe a lot of this to the grandfolks, and I hope they know how thankful we are for that
- plant medicine and learning new things
- McMinnville Community Accupunture, for taking care of me when I don’t take care of myself, and always working miracles
- deepening friendships and creative collaboration
- my brave brother whom I am missing a lot today
- the golden, frosty, dry weather we are having, the kind of weather that reminds of November back home in Nebraska, reminds me of Thanksgivings from my past, and mingles my loves for these two places in the sweetest way this holiday
- you, all of you, humans, reading this or not, I am thankful to share my world with you and all of your golden human-ness
And now, it is time for a mimosa with my love, the cook today, and some games with the kids by the fire. Bliss!
Happy Thanksgiving Day!