There is much to be thank­ful for

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

It should be easy for most of us to be thank­ful. Na­tion­ally, we have seen an es­pe­cially ac­ri­mo­nious pres­i­den­tial elec­tion come and go. We have ac­cepted and ac­knowl­edged the re­sults, and are now see­ing a peace­ful tran­si­tion of power — some­thing not ever y na­tion can boast.

Thanks­giv­ing is a legacy of early colo­nial Amer­ica, when European set­tlers thanked God for the har­vest that al­lowed peo­ple to sur­vive un­der dif­fi­cult con­di­tions. These days, of course, only a dwin­dling por­tion of our pop­u­la­tion here still has lives so closely tied to the har­vest. Most of us take com­fort­able shel­ter and an ad­e­quate food sup­ply for granted ev­ery day.

In a way, we’re all ac­ci­dents of birth and on­go­ing ac­ci­dents of ge­og­ra­phy. We could be any­where else in the world — and plenty of those places have more than enough mis­ery to go around. So we are thank­ful. In­deed, liv­ing this charmed South­ern Maryland life at these par­tic­u­lar co­or­di­nates on the planet, at this time in his­tory, is more than just for­tu­nate. It’s a bless­ing, one that should be duly counted when we give thanks on Thurs­day for all that has come our way.

Al­ready this sea­son, we’ve been pep­pered with images of what we could have and should have, and what we ought to buy for those we love. Our cal­en­dars are get­ting crammed with lists of so­cial obli­ga­tions and ap­point­ments. It can be over­whelm­ing, and it’s just gear­ing up. Even Black Fri­day can’t wait, as many stores will be open on Thanks­giv­ing Day it­self, invit­ing tryp­to­phan-ad­dled shop­pers to rise from their din­ner ta­bles and wan­der the aisles in search of must-have bar­gains.

Many peo­ple in our community, though, will be re­quired to post­pone their feasts to help oth­ers in need. We can take com­fort in know­ing that po­lice and hos­pi­tal staff will be on the job, and vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers and res­cue work­ers could be pressed into ser­vice at any time if there’s an emer­gency. And they will an­swer the call.

Then there are those thought­ful souls who make sure that any­one who wants to come out can en­joy a hot Thanks­giv­ing meal and fel­low­ship. One such din­ner will be at Galazio Restau­rant which will wel­come guests for a tra­di­tional tur­key and ham din­ner from 3 to 8 p.m. Thurs­day at 6223 Crain High­way in La Plata. Meals are free and open to ev­ery­one.

Whether we’re trav­el­ing to Thanks­giv­ing din­ner, host­ing a feast for fam­ily and friends or tak­ing part in a more pub­lic cel­e­bra­tion, it’s un­ques­tion­ably a time to re­con­nect with peo­ple, re­lax and en­joy for a while all that we’ve been given, and to re­mem­ber those who have sat at those ta­bles with us in the past, but are no longer with us.

For sure, this hol­i­day sea­son that of­fi­cially kicks off this week and runs all the way through New Year’s Day can stretch time, money — and some­times pa­tience — par­tic­u­larly thin. But let’s face it, most of us have plenty for which to be thank­ful. And those among us who have not been touched by per­sonal fam­ily tragedy this year should have lit­tle rea­son not to feel pow­er­fully blessed and grate­ful, Thurs­day and ev­ery day.

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