Thanksgiving is just a few days away. No doubt your refrigerator and freezer are already showing the signs of an upcoming holiday feast, or you have your reservation written neatly on the calendar. Either way, most of us will be gathering with those we love on this annual holiday to spend valuable moments with those we hold most dear.
Thanksgiving — a day to be thankful. Even in my fast-paced world, I make a concerted effort to be thankful every day of my life. I try to tell those I love that I do, and I attempt to be the kind of person who is grateful for all bestowed upon me. I like living my life in that manner because at the end of the day, I can close my eyes at night and feel happy, content and fulfilled. I don’t think I can ask for more than that.
But as Thanksgiving Day draws nearer, I know I’ll find myself examining aspects of my life, my world, attempting to find that one omnipotent thing for which I am thankful. Between now and Thursday, many things will come to mind, and while all those things will be great ideas, I’ll continue searching for something more — something bigger, more important, something with more meaning. After all, Thanksgiving is the day when we should put a lot of thought into the people, places and things that cause us to be thankful. Right?
Let’s see ... the big things: Of course, family and friends first come to mind, and they are accompanied by the four-legged friends in my life who also love unconditionally; my home — which welcomes me with warmth and open arms; my job — it has its moments, but the paycheck at the end of the week is much appreciated. Lots more of the big things, but what about all those little things?
Here are just a few examples:
• The sound of the baby giggling behind you in the line at the grocery store.
• The way the roast in the crockpot smells when you get home from work.
• The cat that waits for you to sit down so she can climb up on your lap.
• The old veteran who has tears in his eyes as he salutes the flag passing by him.
• Memories of long ago times shared by the family.
• The way the sun looks as it slips over the horizon.
• A cold drink on a hot day and a hot drink on a cold one.
• Your mom’s voice on the other end of the phone.
• The baseball that makes it to homeplate, the basketball that drops into the basket, the football that is caught in the end zone just as the clock winds down.
• The person who hands a $5 bill to a homeless person.
• The smell of lilacs, hot coffee and Vicks VapoRub.
• A surprise visit from a faraway friend — even one who lives close by is nice.
• A real, handwritten letter from someone you haven’t heard from in a long time.
• A photograph of yourself that you actually kind of like it.
• The hand that reaches for you to let you know everything will be OK.
• Solitary walks.
• The wind in my face.
I could go on and on ... There are tons of those little things for which I am thankful. How about you? I’m sure your list is as long as mine. The little things. The things that happen every day — those things that many times we don’t even think about or notice.
While the big things — family, friends, home, job, etc. — are rather obvious, I have to believe it’s the little things that as we grown older, will ultimately turn into the big things. Those little things create memories that are priceless, and they carve a place into our hearts that shouldn’t be ignored.
As you go around your Thanksgiving table this year and ask everyone to name something for which they are thankful, maybe go around the table again and ask them to name one of those little things which they appreciate. We might be surprised what has touched someone’s heart.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.
BCR Editor Terri Simon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.