There is much to be thankful for
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.