Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

So nights are longer this time of year. Colors change and seasons transition into late Autumn and early Winter. George Winston's piece Thanksgiving always plays to remind me of Thanksgivings past and a look forward to Thanksgivings in the future.

When I think of Thanksgiving and I hear this music; when I see the leaves turn orange and yellow and blow across the street; when I feel the temperature begin to drop and as we welcome in the Holiday season I am reminded of Thanksgivings past with Mom.  Mom loved Autumn.  The Holiday Season between Thanksgiving and Christmas were always some of the warmest of times regardless of  how cold it would get outside.

Found 11/24/10 at 9am
Now as the seasons change and the days continue to shorten as we move towards winter and Christmas I look back to Thanksgivings of old.  Most recently, I think of the more recent Thanksgivings in with my family.  Gathered around a table of plenty.  Having built my family tree and tracing my Bradley line all the back into the 1600's, Thanksgiving for me is filled with ghosts.  Not in a scary sense, but a peaceful sense.  I feel my family.  I feel my blood.  I eat to honor them and the America they built with their blood, my blood.

Last night at work I was speaking with a colleague who has lost a very dear love one.  He was sharing with me how difficult Thanksgiving is and in fact how difficult most family focused holidays are.  We both tried to comfort each other with the reality that loved ones lost will be with us this Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving from here on out but the harsh reality of the absence of their physical presence had set in a little too deep.

This year, I will honor my wife and her family.  They too are part of the American dream.  Immigrants that came here and fell in love with all this great nation has to offer.  They too have suffered and prospered to succeed and inherit their piece of  the American dream.  Sitting at the Turkey Table this year will be a tiny family from Costa Rica and their Irish American son-in-law husband.  Joining us will be a couple from across the hall, a Syrian and his wife.  She's from Mexico.  The American dream is alive and well in my In-Laws condominium complex.  My Father-in-Law is good friends with this man from Syria.  Each man significantly more comfortable in their native tongue and so they use English as a bridge to communicate and what is evident here is that no language is required to witness the bond that exists between two men who have left their homelands in search of greater prosperity and opportunity.

What must Thanksgiving be like for them?  This seemingly American holiday with traditional deep roots from England and Europe.  This day where we mark a time where men and women from different places, races, and creeds who share one land meet innocently to give thanks to God for the abundance in their lives at this time of Harvest.

This to me is what Thanksgiving is all about.  Family.  One big American family.  Steeped in rich history and tradition.  The main ingredient that holds this all together is love.  Love for our land, love for our family and most importantly, love for our God which made us in His image and made all of this wonderful experience of life possible.

And while there will be loved ones deeply missed on this Holiday of feasting and abundance I will feel their presence with me as I share a fine meal with some very special people who happen to be my family as well...

Happy Thanksgiving and Pura Vida!

1 comment:

Vern Bradley said...

Thank you, David, for another wonderful and touching blog. I miss Roberta, too, especially this Thanksgiving. I found a feather the other morning, of all places, in my toaster at my office!!!

THANK YOU for all the work on our ancestors. Our great great great grandparents may well have been involved in the first Thanksgiving
Love you David.