November 22, 2008

It would have been sufficient

It's the last weekend before Thanksgiving, the first weekend when there's no more pretending that winter's cold and dark days are not just around the corner.

But it was sunny enough today to go out into the garden one last time and take down the tomato plants that froze earlier this week and put the garden to bed. Once the tomato and pepper plants were gone, only one bright green spot remained: the carrots I'd planted so many months ago.

With a deep push from the pitchfork they came to the surface. Bright orange carrots, what seemed like hundreds of them!

There were enough carrots to make carrot cake and carrot soup and steamed carrots and carrot pudding. Enough to keep us in carrots for much of the winter.

And I realized how very much I have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. The simple pleasure gained from planting a garden, watching it grow and harvesting the produce. The knowledge that I have enough food to eat and a warm house to live in during these cold winter days. The security of living in a community free from the ravages of war.

And so, before preparing the carrots that may well take the place of sweet potatoes this Thanksgiving, I want to do something more: I'll go online and print out the Thanksgiving prayers prepared by the Union's staff to remind us of just how fortunate we are--and how many others are hurting. And while I'm there, I'll donate $10 to buy a bed net from Nothing but Nets and save a family in Africa from the scourge of malaria. My carrots would have cost at least $10 if I had to buy them this winter.

For this fragile planet earth, its times and tides,
its sunsets and seasons,
Modim anachnu lach

For the joy of human life, its wonders and surprises,
It's hopes and achievements,
Modim anachu lach.
Happy Thanksgiving.