It may sound odd, but perhaps what I am most thankful for is the ability to recognize the blessings of my life and feel thankful. In the ups and downs of everyday life, it can be hard to feel thankful at times. It can be. And even when one does feel thankful, life can still feel hard.
There certainly have been times in my life when I felt bleak. I knew, on some level, that I was fortunate for certain aspects of my life and things would be okay (sooner or later), but I didn't
feel like it. I just felt bleak. Days were hard.
A day to bring it back into focus
Thanksgiving always brought me around, though. Even in the tough times, for one day, I could hold on to the meaning of the holiday and resolve to keep working toward a better time. In good times and
in bad, there are blessings to be counted, even if the only blessing you can think of is a blue sky. It's still a blessing, something to be thankful for.
These days, my life feels abundantly blessed, even on plain old crappy days. I recognize every day, not just on Thanksgiving, that we're so lucky to have health and love and a roof over our heads and
food on the table and good friends around the table. On Thanksgiving, as I reflect on those and other blessings, I am just as grateful that I can recognize them at all.
And as I reflect, I can see more an more pieces of my life for which I am thankful - and can even say I am truly thankful for the harder, bleaker times, for they brought me to the place I am now.
Joy from hardship
The pilgrims, in their early years at Plymouth colony, did not have an easy life. It felt bleak at times, but they recognized that they had blessings nonetheless. Hundreds of years later, in our good
times and in our tough times, we gather to recognize the good in our life. Amid times of war and economic uncertainty and grief and health challenges, there are still blessings to be counted, and we
have set aside a day just for that. That's something to be thankful for in and of itself.