Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

This year, through a convergence of circumstance, poor planning, willful denial and solitude-seeking, I am spending Thanksgiving on my own. And though I will miss family and friends who I have celebrated with in years past, I am nonetheless looking forward to my day. Rest assured that I will be thinking of all of you as I go about my own celebrations (if indeed you were concerned).

I have started the day by reading in bed, always a pleasant activity. I am reading Nancy Farmer's The Land of the Silver Apples, a fantasy taking place in ancient England with a good dose of Viking berserkers. The title comes from a magical poem of Yeats which I am going to put here for you to enjoy. It has a certain air of celebration to it which I think is appropriate.

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor,
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name.
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

-William Butler Yeats

I love Thanksgiving because, for me, it is a holiday with a strong spiritual dimension but no specific religious affiliation. I think it is good to remember that the first Thanksgiving, according to tradition, was celebrated by two peoples of differing beliefs. And giving thanks for the good things in your life is something that everybody can do and appreciate. And there are so many good things I am grateful for, Family and friends, life and good health, good food and a comfortable apartment, a wide world full of places to go and things to learn about, the third movement of Beethoven's 'Archduke' piano trio, Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea books, a nuthatch descending an oak tree and the dawn chorus, deep oceans and shallow creeks...I could go on forever, never stopping.

Now, I am drinking a cup of green tea (Lemony Gunpowder, it is called!) and will put in an hour or so of writing before turning off my computer. The rest of the day I am indulging in my own feast - but no turkey; I don't see what I could do with an entire bird, and if I just were to get a leg, I would have nothing to stuff. So it will be roast chicken with herbed stuffing, mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts. Wonderful stuff, though I will sorely miss the traditional spinach ring that my Aunt Ellen always makes. The rutabagas, not quite as much.

Love to all,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We missed you also, Brian - ll ate the Spinach ring again - not as many rutebegas, but your Mom's asparagus dish was gone also - so glad she and Terry, Tom Esme and Lisa all come! Love, untie Ellen