As a city kid, I never knew the pleasures of an old-fashioned country Thanksgiving, until I was old enough to buy an old farmhouse in the country. And then it rarely if ever snowed - and it was long past the time of sleighs pictured in the traditional Thanksgiving. The house is long gone and I am once again a city "kid" - if you are willing to use the word loosely. When very young I once had an Uncle Al who lived in upstate New York near the Canadian border who would send us a live Thanksgiving turkey in a crate - one which my mother hustled out of the apartment to the butcher before my sister and I considered it a pet. As I aged, I watched the slow but certain disappearance of the elder at the head of the table who carved the turkey - the downside of patriarchy - and then to my astonishment, I was that elder with no skill at carving but a love for living. Since then I have taken a pledge not to disappear for as long as I can help it - and do my best to be there for those I love. This will be a difficult Thanksgiving for those who were wounded by the last election - but it is good to remember that a setback is something to be challenged - not bemoaned - and that in the time of Grandma Moses - famous for her cheerful primitive paintings of Thanksgiving, there were no civil rights, no gay rights, no women's rights, and yet the world moved forward while still taking time off to celebrate one human right - the right to love each other, our families and our friends. When we start with that basic right we can move on to the others: fighting for the survival of a world of brother and sisterhood that cannot be destroyed when it is founded on love for the "other" - because, truth is, for someone else we are all "the other." We may need more than love but it is a good place to begin. Happy Thanksgiving.
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