Today and everyday, I am thankful for those things I believe in.
I live by the Chesapeake Bay and I believe in sunsets. Many places in the world have beautiful sunsets but those on the Chesapeake sing to me. Even on gray days the clouds become tinged with purple and fade into a soft pink. On bright days orange plays with yellow and red for an awe-inspiring splash of color. At their best, the sunsets seem to morph into a Maxfield Parrish painting. These sunsets give me a chance to pause, to admire, to reflect, to appreciate. I become acutely aware of the precious beauty that surrounds me. It's a sort of zen thing, I guess.
And I believe in my front yard, that untamed monstosity that rejects grass while accepting the underground tunnels that bulge up to its surface each spring and fall when shy rodents expand their empires. From my front window I can look across the street to a wooded area where trees fifty, sixty feet and higher flaunt their unique shapes and branches. By the front of those trees, next to the road, is a smaller tree which, every autumn, startles me with its brilliant red leaves. The leaves in Southern Maryland are muted in the fall; they are not as vibrant as the fall foliage in my native New England. Except for the flaming red leaves on this little tree: as if the tree was putting on its annual display just for my pleasure.
I believe in Kitty's smile. It centers me. It forces me to acknowledge my worth. It melts my heart and burrows into my soul. And I am lucky enough to have her smile with every single day.
And I believe my utter pride in my children is well-placed. Despite the pain of being a widow, Jessamyn is building a life for herself and her girls. She and the girls are whip-smart, loving, caring people and the world needs many more like that. Christina has so many balls in the air that it's hard to count them all. How she balances home, work, family, animals, and school boggles my mind. She does it all and she does it well. Each of my girls have displayed a kind heart throughout their lives. Pride is too soft a word about my feelings for them.
I believe in my grandchildren's laughter. It's spontaneous and infectious. The laughter of children is very special and always welcome,
I believe in the Kangaroo and his older sister. Despite the turmoil that has placed them in the foster care system, they are both happy, loving kids. They are lucky to have landed at Christina's house and to have become a part of her family. While they are with us they are both loved and safe. What the future holds for them depends on the court and the social services systems. If and when they leave my prayers are that they take this cacoon of love and safety with them.
I believe in our dumb dog. He gives his love unquestionably. He dances when I feed him. He barks at invisible air monsters. He snores and passes gas. He is a good companion.
I believe in the internet. It has made our lives easier. It has given us access to knowledge and to idiots. It allows us to exchange ideas. It lets us make unseen friends throughout the world.
Despite the hatred and devisiveness in the world, I believe in the goodness of people. I have seen people who have swallowed the Kool-Aid and spout the talking points of hatred, I have seen these people open their hearts and homes without question to people in need. The overwhelmingly vast number of people in this world care for each other and only want a safe and secure future for their loved ones. No different than you or me.
These are just a few of the things I'm thankful for. There are many more: Drake's Devil Dogs, kittens, cold pizza, Neil Gaiman's Sandman, Marc Chagall's paintings, banjos, clean underwear, my morning coffee, modern medicine, memories of people now gone who have impacted my life, llamas and alpacas and vicunas, can openers, the higgs boson particle, sunshine, rain, Tom Paxton, dimples...I could go on.
As you reflect on the things you are thankful for, know that I am also thankful for you.