Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Quiet but Thought-Filled Thanksgiving.

November 27, 2008, is Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and though there is debate in a few groups whether or not such a day should be celebrated--some Native Americans want the holiday eliminated because they say the original "thanksgiving" concerned the pilgrims annihilating Indians then returning to the settlements to thank God for successful massacres--I am glad that such an increasingly secular country sets aside a day to be grateful.

And, in a society that more and more thinks of itself as entitled or victimized, and looks to government to solve its problems, it is good to cultivate the virtue of gratitude. Once, hard work, gratitude, and personal responsibility were core values. Now, not so much.


My family is scattered this holiday: brother and family in Ohio, mom in Oklahoma, dad in Mississippi, me in Arkansas.

Dad called me this afternoon, and our conversation was lagging, and then he read a poem photocopied from an old textbook (his wife is a retired teacher), and that kick-started a whole new conversation.


Because we were friends and sometimes loved each other,
perhaps to add one more tie
to the many that already bound us,
we decided to play games of the mind.

We set up a board between us:
equally divided into pieces, values,
and possible moves.
We learned the rules, we swore to respect them,
and the match began.

We've been sitting here for centuries, meditating
how to deal the one last blow that will finally
annihilate the other one forever.

Rosario Castellanos (25 May 1925 – 7 August 1974) Mexican poet and author


We talked about competition, friendship, government, war, politics. If his mother-in-law hadn't called for him from somewhere in the house, we'd probably be on the phone still.


I'm thankful for employment. Come January 1, there will be no annual rise in salary, and there may even be a cut a little further into the year, but there will--I pray--still be an income. Working in the nonprofit sector can be tough on the budget, and not so good for peace of mind when the economy weakens, but I know Who holds tomorrow, and am confident He is able to take care of any troubles that come my way.

1 comment:

Phy said...

I was at my sister's house for Thanksgiving, and got to talk to my dad for quite awhile. It was really nice. We don't see each other but a couple of times each year, and don't talk on the phone very often, but he reads RGR, and I got my love of literature from him, and I know when we do see each other, we have a lot to catch up on, and that's always great.

Glad you had a chance to connect with your dad.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend.