So today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada, and though I may be in Switzerland today still feels like a holiday for me: there is a fall chill in the air, the tree tops have been sponged with orange, red, and gold, and I have good things baking in the oven.
So what does Thanksgiving represent for Canadians?
It is always celebrated on the second Sunday of October, and it is officially the day to give thanks for a bountiful harvest; a horn of plenty that will hopefully last and keep people nourished through the long Canadian winters. But as any generation grows, so to do holidays.
Today, the majority of Canadians live in cities and towns--removed from the farms that produce the bounty on their tables. Chances are most of us aren't giving thanks for a harvest anymore, but rather sales at our local grocery stores. Our winters are long and cold in some parts of the country (the whole country is not an icebox people) but our grocery stores are always fully stocked and our cars and buses come with heaters.
We have a lot to be thankful for and so for many of today's Canadians, Thanksgiving Day (if you choose to pause in between bites of turkey and pumpkin pie) is just as the name implies: a day to give thanks. Because as much as we like to believe we are little independent beings of thought, of opportunities, of success, the truth is none of us are independent in our successes; there is always someone who has helped us and inspired us, and there is always something that has unfolded to make the stars align in our constellation to produce a bounty in our lives. In other words, there is always reason to give thanks for what you have.
Today, here is what I am thankful for:
1. Taking chances, and having a best friend to take them with me.
2. Failure for all the strength it brings to tomorrow.
3. Family. In all that word implies, that is my family.
4. Two snugly cats who make us laugh and question our sanity.
5. Friends to share today with.
6. The horn of plenty that is on our dinner table tonight.
It's trite to say we should be thankful every day because it's not realistic. But to have one day where you celebrate thankfulness, is something I am quite thankful for.