Last Thursday my husband and I spent a lovely Thanksgiving evening with friends, my first Thanksgiving in 46 years, as it is not a holiday here in Chile. But we planned our trip to California to include Thanksgiving, and it was special. The hostess prepared the traditional meal: turkey, stuffing (my favorite), homemade cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie. We went around the table giving thanks. The hostess gave thanks for her successful kidney transplant (as did her husband), my husband thanked our host and hostess and I gave thanks for all the friends who had welcomed us into their homes over the past weeks.
I truly feel blessed with my California friends: the high school classmates who attended my book launch, former university classmates, relatively new friends who welcomed us once more into their home in my hometown, and my oldest, dearest lifelong friend.
Blessings abounded: strolls along beaches of Monterey Bay, visited by arcing dolphins and cruising whales; views of downtown San Francisco’s sparkling Christmas decorations in the rainy dusk, my unexpected first Black Friday shopping excursion, a nostalgic stroll across the UC Berkeley campus, meeting the Ethiopian woman who bought my book for her 15 year-old son who “loves to read”, savoring the clam chowder at Nick’s Cove.
Life brings both blessings and tragedies. For the second consecutive year my hometown was enveloped with heavy smoke from wildfires to the north while I was there. Lives were lost; homes destroyed. When will we learn that nature is way older and wiser than humanity and live accordingly?
Thanksgiving lessons learned.