Saigyo said (and I only know that he did so, because J.D. Salinger quoted him):
“What it is I know not
But with the gratitude
My tears fall”
Now, many people, both here and distant, have seen fit to make fun of our innocent November holiday. They say that it is a shallow thing, a mere celebration of overeating and television marathons.
Which of course it is.
But there is another, overlooked, word in that accusation: ‘celebration’. And therein lies the real meaning of this particular day. For Thanksgiving is not twisted about with politics or religion – it is uncontaminated with those things. Instead, it is a celebration of the harvest: in my case the harvest from Ralph’s and Whole Foods. It is a celebration of the food you are lucky to see on your plate. It is a celebration of the people sitting next to you and sitting across from you. It is such a simple thing. You are giving thanks for friends and family – people you care for most in the world that you have been able to gather together. You are giving thanks for the 4 cups of heavy cream I will be putting in my potatoes gratin – thanks that such an act is still legal in the United States.
My mother is Jewish, my father is ½ Italian – perhaps it is in my blood to express affection with food. But I can’t be positive about the relationship between DNA and dining. Still, a heavy, festive table is a beautiful thing.
So is a James Bond marathon – parents and Boyfriend have been warned that this will be playing All Day.
A day of Thanksgiving – for all things, anything you can think of – is a pure holiday: full of emotions so unsullied that indeed tears of gratitude will indeed fall. And yet giving thanks is so easy to do: anyone can take part!
By definition, Thanksgiving is a gathering of your own personal, wonderful people, your marvelous families. It is a day to share the bounty. Not STARE at, share. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for all that you have. And that is the nature of the feast.
Happy Thanksgiving, you darling people.