I stand by my assertion that Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays. Not because of the food, but because it is all about spending time with people you care about and love, being grateful, and reflecting on the RIGHT NOW of things. Plus, there are no Thanksgiving songs, which I think is fantastic.

That said, I present to you my annual list of things for which I am grateful:

→ family/friends/friends like family/total strangers/acquaintances

→ those who irritate or test my patience (because they remind me to address all things and people with compassion…and then I feel better and they no longer annoy me — we all win!)

→ poetry and the delicious lyricism of words and phrases

→ journalists who risk their sanity and lives to tell important stories

→ access to clean, running water

→ musicians who open their souls for public consumption in the name of creativity and a greater truth

→ the life-affirming opportunity to work in education and the heavy responsibility of positively contributing to another human being’s learning process

→ strong dog shampoos that erase the scent of rolled-in dead animal

→ sincerity and the courage it takes to express it

→ the technology that allows me to speak or type in real time with friends and family anywhere on this planet

→ the Kirkland ® brand merino wool socks I got at Costco (it’s like having my feet gently shrouded in angel whispers)

→ the work of artists that challenge the way I see or experience things, for good and for bad

→ my solid education and all who contributed to it, both in and out of the classroom

→ that my wild, reckless days are behind me

→ chicken salad

→ the use of my limbs and senses

→ weird bugs (and normal bugs) who live in their own tiny, infinite worlds

→ really wonderful documentaries

→ when right beats might

→ proper weatherizing

→ all the untold and unknown histories that brought us to this moment right now (I wish I could know and understand them all)

→ the fact that everything is made up of atoms, which makes me the same as you and the air and a boat and an apple and the stars and an evil person and a saint and a plastic bag and a smooth river stone and a computer and a tree and a gun and a building and dog slobber

→ those who take pride in their work and those who respect the workers

→ arresting visual images that somehow transport us to a specific moment and place in time (video as alchemy)

→ hugs

→ I am grateful that you, the person reading this right now, are able to read this and that you are living and breathing and (oh, I hope upon hope) you are happy and at peace.

xo

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