I had surgery the day before Thanksgiving. The surgery was relatively minor, but the result was a holiday which was limited by the need for rest to recover. As a result, I had no opportunity or inclination to rush around or worry too much about trappings sometimes associated with holidays.
We stayed at home and had a turkey. There was no temptation to interrupt the presence of Peace invited by the stillness and reflection. The four days brought a nice time with family not distracted by the routine duties of normal day-to-day.
Thanksgiving has always been the most peaceful holiday in my view, in any case. Thanksgiving is somewhat perfectly designed. There are typically four days off of work and nothing to really “do” to meet the requirement of the day except have a meal with loved ones. There are football games and nice fall weather which is typically neither too hot or too cold. Unless you fall into the trap of American Christmas on Friday, there is no need to run around and buy presents.
Beyond all of that, though, is the idea behind the holiday in the first place. The idea of stopping life to be thankful. It’s not a celebration or ceremony, but instead a decision towards a mindset. We are intentionally thankful. Even the least grateful among us have to stop to reflect on the good things in their lives at some level when that what everybody else is talking about.
Here is what I know about thanks: it invites Peace. The decision to be thankful despite that there will always be some measure of trouble in our lives combats worry and anxiety. The pushing out of stress through the declarations of thanks results in a way for Peace to rest in and on us. That is reward enough that we should likely be more given towards thanks the rest of the year than we all too often are.
I am thankful. My life if full and rich, with Love overwhelming even my most stubborn efforts to grumble or complain. While nobody would choose surgery without some prompting need, I am thankful for even that. I appreciate the quiet, calm slowness necessary for recovery. During that time, relationships were nurtured and appreciated and Peace dwelled among us.