Giving Thanks and Grieving

Long before the sun is up, my turkey is in the oven. It’s a small turkey but in terms of intimidation it’s ginormous. Still, I’m grateful to have it. Grateful to be able to cook a meal for my family. I have a lot to be thankful for, and I’m so glad to be able to celebrate that.

Yet I live where the trail of tears began. Thar’s gold in these here hills, and it’s caused a lot of heartbreak. I have ancestors who were Tsalagi (Cherokee) and though only a very small amount of their blood runs through my very Anglo-Saxon veins, I feel the grief of this day.

Maybe there’s not much I can do. I try to keep educated. I try to be mindful. Once the “mainstream” culture of these mountains was Tsalagi, and it was beautiful and vibrant. What has survived is beautiful and vibrant. Survival is something to be thankful for and you have to be thankful when the good things from the past survive, because so often they don’t.

Regardless of the grief in your life, in your past, in your region or in your country, I hope you have something to be thankful for today. Here’s to hoping that next year we all have more in our live for which to be grateful: family, friends, work, home, peace, justice, faith, hope.

Today I’m thankful for you. You give me a reason write. Whoever you are, nameless reader, you give me a reason to be mindful and share something of myself every day. Thank you.

If you have a moment today, be mindful of the folks in the Occupy movement. Perhaps you can’t bring them food physically, but remember them today. I plan to set aside a plate for the Occupy folks, and thank them for doing what I can’t.

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