Letter to Fam and Friends
In thinking about this holiday--what it used to mean, and what it has become--I want to transform its meaning for me, on a personal level. I want it to be a day just like any other, when I feel a sense of gratitude and I write those thoughts and feelings of thanks down on paper. Yeah, like with a pen, on real paper!
More importantly than what this day means to me, is letting all of you know that I am grateful for you! It sounds trite--who writes a Gratitude letter on Turkey Day? Me! Especially now, when many of you, like me, are not gathering with family and friends for the holidays. This Pandemic Holiday Season of Coron-inanity, when a family gathering for Turkey Dinner in November could mean a trip to the morgue for Christmas. This is not a Happy Holiday season for so many in the US and all over the globe. It can either be really difficult to hang on to gratitude or really easy to grasp because of all that is going on and that we are still alive, have an income, and a place to live. You know me, normally I'm abroad anyway. I'm used to celebrating holidays with new acquaintances or by myself, tucked away in some place outside the USA.
Last year, I was in Melbourne, Australia, and enjoying the heck out of that amazing city. Of course they do not celebrate the genocide of our First Nations/First Americans like those Americans descended from colonists do (yes, I want to say that--Thanksgiving isn't celebrated by Native Americans, whose ancestors the colonists wiped out, and are still being wiped out by US govt. policy). In Australia, they are actively making reparations and returning land to the victims of European colonization, rather than breaking more treaties and building pipelines. I found Australian culture to be a model Americans should follow. I loved my time there! Turkey Day was not celebrated in Australia--for obvious reasons--they have Australia Day, which the government has rebranded as a day of unity for all Australians.
This time last year, I was staying in a gorgeous 3 level home at the foot of the Dandenong Mountains; watching Kookaburras, Cockatoos, and King Parrots parading colors across the backyard; drinking champers with my fancy homemade brunch; and then later, walking the two Japanese-breed doggies in the bright Australian sun, followed by practicing piano chords in a lithely, banging manner!
For Christmas, I was in another suburb of Melbourne: Seaford, an aptly named township lying across the road from the kilometres-long Victoria Harbour beach.
I could live happily the rest of the winter seeing only those four colours! Sigh. I'm kind of sad to leave here, but it's time to move on and get out of my comfort zone. I'll be in Denver after the Sixth of December for one month, then... who knows.
Today, tomorrow, and on all future days, I am grateful for each of you. I love you!
ut we are just going to ignore that one!)