October 8th, 2007

rudbeckia

Happy Thanksgiving

I had my Thanksgiving dinner last night. My house this morning is redolent with roast and furniture polish and is delightfully clean and tidy. I have wonderful left-overs in the fridge. I roasted a turkey - I love turkey and so seldom have it that it's a real treat, and this is no large tasteless dry creature of holidays past; this is a small fresh grain-fed bird, moist and full of flavour. I made stuffing with a mixture of red, black, brown and a little wild rice, lemon zest and juice, dried apricots, toasted pine nuts and of course herbs of various kinds. kp brought a salad of greens and chopped carrots and red peppers which we dressed with good olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I baked a dish of yams made with oranges and maple syrup, and we had local brussels sprouts lightly sprinkled with ground nutmeg. And with it a Damasco wine. It was all very good. The animals, of course, circled around the kitchen and dining room sniffing; Clio the cat is the one who really does well on these occasions because she gets the giblets (over two feedings to spare her gut) and a few scraps of turkey. Dogs can only have a few small pieces of white meat because too much poultry upsets them.

I discover as I think about it that I love Thanksgiving. I like the feeling of the summer drawing to a close, of retreating behind walls for the winter, snug and replete. I like the mostly non-commercial aspect of it; the shops try hard to convince us to introduce Thanksgiving presents, or Thanksgiving crackers for the table, but most of us ignore them. It's nearly always good weather, here. Today, the sun is shining, and the leaves are bright and inviting. The garden colours are warm - oranges, red, deep purples.

This year, I also feel a deeper impulse for thankfulness than last. The past years have been difficult, and though I was always thankful for friends and family and a good job that I love, I nevertheless often felt a slight sense of desperation, as if I were spitting in the wind or whistling in the dark. Now, I feel a greater sense of peace and recovery, moved not so much to a listing of individual blessings as a feeling of thankfulness just for being. I feel like one of those Oscar winners who says "I have so many people to thank: you all know who you are!" I have so much to be thankful for; I'm content simply to let it be so.