Friday, November 23, 2007

November 23

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was spent with wonderful friends, who are masters at The Big Meal; cooking, serving, cleaning up. My husband, mother and I shared the table with 13 kind people and two turkeys (one smoked, the other deep fried, both delicious.)There was pie and cheesecake and wine. What could be bad?

Over soup, we went around the table and gave thanks. Most of us spoke about the gratitude we felt for family and friends, and for being included at this Thanksgiving dinner. Two of us mentioned the fact that dear ones are healing after grievous illness/diagnosis. Someone mentioned his gratitude at being in a place where everyone knew how to laugh at a joke. Our hostess acknowledged the blessing of beings Americans, for all our serious disagreements with the current administration.

I have working on gratitude lately. As I walk the dog in the sharp cold air of late fall. As I touch my toes in yoga. As I taste my daily bread. As I answer the phone call of a friend (caller ID is a good thing that way). I try to quiet my mind long enough to observe my luck and count the blessing of another day.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

November 4

Today is my daughter's 22nd birthday.

She is my one-and-only child, so this is a red letter day in my personal calendar.

E. is living in Costa Rica this year, so I sorely miss being able to celebrate with her. To console myself, I visited with my friend A. and her little girls, age 3 and 1 this afternoon. There were songs from Sesame Street and songs sun by Raffi on the CD player. I remembered the words! (A miracle given the state of my memory). And I remember the delight of those bright eyes.

I cannot quite believe it's been so long since I sang those songs, since I played those games, since I lived that life: the sensations are still so available to me, so present.

The intervening years have been filled with the most important lessons of my life. It is my birthday as a parent -- a role that contines to teach and to shape me more profoundly than any other.

So Happy Birthday to E. and to her dad, J. and to me.

And many more ...