holidays life

Thanks, the Giving of

25 November 2010


[Apple pie, November 2010. Recipe here.]

I am thankful for this sunny day.
I am thankful for this good food, that I have enough when so many do not.
I am thankful for my friends and family.
I am thankful for sweet dogs.
I am thankful for the Pacific Ocean (and all the oceans of the world).
I am thankful for pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies.
I am thankful for this beautiful place in which I live.
I am thankful for KFOG (and classic rock in general).
I am thankful for that most of my meal today originated within 100 miles of where I sit right now.
I am thankful for my two wonderful San Francisco farmers’ markets, both within walking distance of my house.
I am thankful for coffee (always).
I am thankful I can run 26.2 miles if I want to (and glad I mostly run much less).
I am thankful for possibility
I am thankful for Maine in winter and summer, too.
I am thankful the Giants won the World Series.
I am thankful for tomatoes in season, butternut squash pureed with maple syrup, and organic potato chips.
I am thankful for this life.

* Today, Thanksgiving, is one of my one of my very favorite days of the year, mainly because it combines two things very close to my heart: food (and the cooking of it) of course, as well as the giving of thanks — or, really, the feeling grateful-for. Is there a better feeling in the world than gratitude? (OK maybe love, but that’s something better suited to February ruminations and anyway I sort of think the two are closely related.)

Some days I swear I wake up simply grateful to be, cozy and quiet tucked up in my comfortable bed with the morning grey-light filtering through the windows, knowing I have good food to eat for breakfast, and, if I’m particularly lucky, a Sunday morning New York Times waiting for me downstairs. I mean, of course there are those days I rise on the wrong side of the bed and burn my toast or drink green tea because I’m out of milk and there is just no way I can drink my coffee without milk or cream. Of course there are those days. But in general I know I have it pretty good and I try not to take it for granted.

This morning the sun shines and I am going to take the dog for a long walk in the woods, and then I will come back to the house to slip the turkey in the oven (she, poor devil, having been salted and herbed and lathered with olive oil within an inch of her hopefully once happy and free-ranging life), crack open a bottle of sparkling wine to mix with pear nectar, nibble a pumpkin cookie, and cross fingers this next year proves just as delicious and full of surprises as the last.

*Wishing you lots of good food, friends, and family today and every day.


[Keyhoe Beach, March 2009.]

Why I Wake Early

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety—

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light—
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

~Mary Oliver

  • Miri 29 November 2010 at 11:55 am

    I especially like that you’re thankful for possibility. There seems to be so much focus on what we have right now and what we’ve had in the past — I think it’s important to be just as hopeful and thankful about what the future might bring.

  • Jen 26 November 2010 at 10:48 am

    Mary Oliver–my favorite nature poet. She really speaks to me about how we interact with the world around us. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Loved your article on NPR.

  • Alyssa 25 November 2010 at 10:14 pm

    I am thankful that a few times a week your beautiful pictures show up in my google reader! Thank you so much for being a wonderful blogger