Thanksgiving in the US is coming up this Thursday, and as usual I will have a small group at my house: me, my husband, our two children, and our son-in-law. All our other family members live too far away to visit, but I’m content. I have so many blessings, more than I can count.
- My family. Our children both live locally, and come to visit every week. Everyone is healthy and is in a good place mentally, socially, and financially. There is nothing more precious to me than this.
- My life. I retired this year, and find my new situation very rewarding. Our finances are more than comfortable, we are both in good health, and I’m enjoying the extra time I can spend on things I choose: writing, gaming, and music. I’m also able to work more diligently on maintaining my health into old age, including a much more regular workout schedule. I have a network of friends, in real life and online, and am looking forward to the future.
- My country. I know that there’s a lot going on here that is, shall we say, less than ideal. Right now it’s hard. But we will get through it, and uphold our core principles: the rule of law, and that nobody is above the law. With all its blemishes, there is no place I would rather live.
I am very aware of how privileged my status as a well-off white person in the USA makes me. I try to be constantly mindful of this privilege, to remember that I owe it to much more than just my own efforts and to do what I can to spread it to others. But today, in this season of thanksgiving, I will give myself wholeheartedly to gratitude for what life has given to me.
Every year at this time, I’m reminded of a saying I’ve seen attributed to Native Americans:
Give thanks for blessings yet unknown, already on their way
I hope you and yours find your blessings, and come to a place where you have the peace, security, and love you deserve.
ON ANOTHER NOTE: Starting in January 2020 I’ll be posting only on my official author website. If you enjoy my content, please start following me there: www.celiareaves.com. I value every one of my followers, and I hope to see you over there!
U is for Unbroken
This soapstone sculpture is a stylized representation of a family with two adults and two children. It was carved in Peru, and purchased at One World Goods, a local store selling free-trade and sustainable sourced merchandise created by artisans around the world. My daughter, who volunteers there, gave it to me for Mothers Day years ago. Then, disaster struck – my family was broken!Everyone pulled together. I did some Internet research about soapstone and what adhesives might work. My son-in-law, who worked for years at a craft store, helped me buy the right stuff. Then four days ago we joined forces to mix the epoxy, assemble the pieces, wipe the excess, and hold it all in place while it set. I’m happy to report that the photo at the top shows how it is right now. If you look closely you can see the seams, but it’s all in one piece.
I don’t want to blow this incident out of proportion. I know there are families that are truly broken, and I mean no disrespect to people living that painful reality. I see you, and my heart aches for you. But this little sculpture story has some metaphorical weight for me. My daughter gave it to me after she had moved out of the house, not long before she married. My son had also moved out, leaving my husband and me in the big house alone. There are moments when I feel like my family is in pieces, my children scattered. But my family is absolutely unbroken. I’m the most fortunate of empty-nesters because they all live nearby and come over once a week for dinner and gaming. They were around our table yesterday for Thanksgiving, as they are every year. There is nothing I’m more thankful for.
What about you? Do you have the opportunity to join hands with your family? Are there broken places, held together with epoxy and determination? What are you most thankful for?
You can join in on the photo challenge! Pick any image you created you can label with the letter U. Show us your umbrella, your Uncle Joe, even your underwear if you’re feeling bold! Here’s how to participate.
- Post an image on your own blog or website.* All types of images are welcome. If you have serious equipment and serious skills, that’s awesome! If you snap pics on your phone (like me), that’s also awesome!
- Post a comment on this page with a link back to your post. If you post a comment that includes a link to your blog, I will add a link to your post below.
- Check back over the next week to follow the links. That way you can see what other people did with the theme and join in the fun.
Once again, Olga Odim shares a custom cover for the week, based on umbrellas. Check it out here.
*Just so we’re all clear, you post your photos on your own site, which means you aren’t giving control to me or to anyone else. We’re all invited to view the images you post (and comment if your site allows for comments), but nobody has the right to use your images in any way without your permission. Got it? Great!
The Wednesday Words this week aren’t mine, but come from a Native American blessing that is appropriate on this eve of the American holiday of Thanksgiving:
Give thanks for blessings yet unknown,
already on their way.
I am thankful for so much.
- My wonderful family: The husband who cherishes me and our children and who speaks up for what is right and good. The son who faces his personal challenges every day at work and at home and just keeps going, and the people who have helped him reach his level of independence. The daughter who shares her music and art with the world, and who donates hours each month to volunteer service at a store supporting fair trade art works. The future son-in-law who brings our daughter joy and love.
- My privileged place in the world: My husband and I have good jobs we love, bringing us satisfaction and two steady incomes. We life in a neighborhood, a region, a nation where we feel safe and where our essential humanity is supported. We are reminded every day that this is indeed a privilege, and that we are obligated to keep working until it is no longer a privilege, but the natural state for everyone.
- My social network: Friends to gather with, critique partners to share feedback and boost each other in the work of writing, co-workers to commiserate and celebrate with, fellow musicians to sing and play with, the terrific people who follow this blog, and all the others who share a smile every day.
I could go on, but that’s enough from me today.
What are you most thankful for?