Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mahalo

Thanksgiving Eve. It is the calm before the storm. The deep breath before diving in. The moment you pause on your board and look down the snow-covered hill before hurling yourself over the edge into a barely-controlled slide down a slippery slope. [Not that I would have any idea about that since I've never been snowboarding, but I can imagine. I'd be the one curled up by the fire in the lodge with something hot and sweet, and maybe hot chocolate too. Ha.] After tomorrow, much of America will begin the insane pace of The Holiday Season.

I'm so glad we have a celebration focused on gratitude before all that nuttiness starts. The retailers try their best to gloss over Thanksgiving in favor of the consumer madness that Christmas has become, but at least we stop to breathe first, and devote a day to being thankful for what we've given and gained in the last year.

Personally, I like to count my blessings every day. Even if I don't write them down in my book, I at least think of five things every night that I'm thankful for before I go to sleep. Imagine how the world would change if every single human being did that every night. I wouldn't mind living in a world like that.

Thinking about Thanksgiving also reminds me of the turkey in the road. This past summer, there was a wild turkey in Wyckoff that chose the middle of an intersection as his strut zone. Every day on my way to work traffic would be backed up because Mr. Turkey was casually strolling from car to car, sometimes even knocking on the doors. Each time I passed him, I sent him protective Reiki thoughts, wished him a good day, and hoped everyone would stay aware enough not to hit him. He survived. Eventually, strutting season was over and I'd like to think he went back into the nearby nature preserve. (Or it's possible animal control finally took him somewhere safer, but I hope he decided to leave on his own when his work was done.) I looked up turkeys in the Sams cards and Animal Speak and learned that turkey medicine is all about adaptability, blessings, and sacrificing yourself for the good of the whole. I'm not sure if this idea came before or after our tradition of Thanksgiving was established, but either way I'm glad Turkey got the honor of this special message.

Kaytee just told me a cool story before she went to bed. Some background first: I recycle everything I can, and I've always been one to save the little cardboard sleeves from Starbucks for future use (if I don't have my travel mug with me). I actually have two from last Christmas I carry around in my purse. Every time I use them, it's one less wasted piece of cardboard in a landfill. It may not seem like a huge recycling gesture, but the numbers do add up after awhile. With as much Starbucks as I drink, I'd be willing to bet I've saved a few hundred of those things from polluting our planet by now.

Apparently I've influenced my daughter to do the same thing. She told me she was working tonight at Vans and had gotten Starbucks. Previously, someone at Macy's had given her a piece of paper scented with perfume and it was in her purse with the cardboard sleeve, which then picked up the perfume. When she used the sleeve on her cup, the heat released the scent and a girl she works with commented on it. Kaytee explained why it was probably the sleeve from her cup the girl was smelling. Her co-worker then asked if she was an environmentalist. Kaytee said she was definitely concerned about the Earth and tried to do what she could to help out. The girl thought that was pretty cool and decided she was going to start saving the Starbucks sleeves to use more than once too. Not only am I glad to know Kaytee thinks about those things, I'm glad to know my recycling habits are spreading!

Tonight I am thankful for the pure potential energy of gratitude. I am also thankful that my daughter picks up some of my good habits instead of just the bad ones. I'm grateful for the beauty and warmth of a crackling fire, and the mobility of my laptop so I can sit by it and write this post. Thank you for great books that make me laugh and keep me entertained. Thank you for my baking skills, and an annual occasion for family and friends to gather and enjoy each other's company. Thank you for love, happiness, and whirled peas. ;)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007