From as far back as I can remember, I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving. But it wasn’t until I got a little older, when I started thinking beyond the goodies on my plate and more about the world in which we live, that I began to question the holiday – not in its true form and meaning, but what we had turned it into.
The day was intended to be the day when we count our blessings: the love of family and friends, and the bounty of food and shelter. I looked around and saw people stuffing their faces like they had never seen food before (even to the point of getting sick) and then ignoring family conversation for the sake of football or shopping. This disturbed me.
I spoke up. I suggested that perhaps Thanksgiving should be a day of fasting and reflection. I was almost kicked out of the family – you should have seen the looks I got. I soon realized that this was never going to happen. But guess what? In a backhanded sort of way, my wish did come to fruition this year.
I became ill a few days before Thanksgiving and spent most of my time in bed. When the day itself arrived, I still wasn’t sure whether or not I would be able to attend our family gathering, this year to be held at our house. I still wasn’t sure if I could make it out of bed.
My first reaction was negative. But then I realized that the worst that could happen was that I would miss seeing my family. Nothing else mattered. That was when a great peace came over me. That was when I realized that my heart agreed with my thoughts: the food did not matter, nothing material mattered; and that is when I felt great joy.
I was still sick, but I managed to get dressed and attend the feast, passing up most of the food as it was passed to me. I did manage to eat a few “bland” items: some turkey, mashed potatoes, and a roll. That was about it.
But as the blessing was being said, I took a moment to look around at everyone. It was like the table disappeared and all I could see was the bright lights which shone from everyone’s heart. I thanked God for my blessings, abundant and overflowing – for each morsel of food I put in my mouth and for every day I am allowed to walk upon this earth.
It was the best Thanksgiving ever – it was pure thanks, pure love.
All my love and blessings to each and everyone of you.