On my first year in the US I was invited to a friend’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving. I had no idea what it meant to go to a family event that was also a holiday, with copious amounts of food, that wasn’t Christmas or Easter. Sure, coming from a Catholic country we’re used to holidays; man, do the Catholics ever love some holidays. So many saints to celebrate, plus Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Corpus Christi, All Saints Day, whew!… Back to the Thanksgiving feast: I ate and finished the several dishes that came my way, gladly obliging the household’s matriarch as she naively (or fruitlessly) attempted to stuff me with the turkey-related goodies. Little did she know it’d be a losing proposition; after all, I didn’t get my gourmand nickname “Gustarving” for nothing. But I digress.
Thanksgiving dinner became a favorite holiday, regardless of its secular origins. It does make a lot of sense, though: the settlers brought their end of harvest festivities, and the natives helped them out with seeds and mad fishing skills when food was short. It became a celebration of bounty that was the result of mutual cooperation, and that appealed to me. Its earthly nature makes it so folks of all religions do a pilgrimage around the country in a continental effort to share the joy of getting together. It works, right? Besides, I don’t have to attend mass or be subjected to the dubious bliss of secret Santa (another snuggie? I asked for a firetruck!).
Silliness aside, we here at Embrocation have a lot to be thankful for. This past year did not exactly prove itself to be the bumper crop we had initially set out to have. We got thrown into difficult times, laden with tough choices that tested us harshly and frequently. Changes, foreseen and otherwise, were thrust upon us in all sorts of ways: I became a daddy for the 2nd time, James got married, Kyle got engaged, we added some much needed help on the Embro front, among many other things. We are lucky to have been blessed with a steely sense of resolve that saw no alternatives outside of moving forward, battle scars be damned. Ironically it felt like we were beaten with biblical-style trials that are now celebrated in the most secular of ways (meaning feasting without having to go to church). It toughened our drive, and just now we’re beginning to lift our heads above the water. In that sense we’ve been very fortunate as our readers kept coming back, our partners at IBC have been generous, and most of us have been (physically) healthy. There’s a privilege to that and we know it. Ruminating over the negatives does nothing but slow us down, and we prefer not to dwell on those. We acknowledge and move on.
But it’s not exactly about us this holiday. What are you thankful for? As you think about it, please pass the stuffing. Gustarving rode all the way to the in-laws (90km) and is on a plate-cleaning mission today. Happy Thanksgiving!