It’s a little after noon on Thanksgiving Day. The turkey’s in the oven, the hors d’oeuvres have have been prepared and tested for quality, and the leaves have been swept off the front entrance to Crabb Hollow. Finally, it’s time to reflect on those things we have to be thankful for.
The list is long, but this year I’d like to thank all those who made this occasion possible. I am speaking of the survivors; the people who made us, quite literally. Our ancestors.
When you think about it, it’s quite amazing. There are a few humans walking the earth today who can trace their forebearers back to their countries of origin through centuries, but most of us didn’t arrive here on the Mayflower, or have the good fortune to be born into a royal family with written archives.
No, most of us are the mongrels who, if you’re lucky, have family histories that go back about a hundred years. Even then, the information is sketchy and has probably been heavily edited by the children to avoid embarrassment.
But if you look back at human history, it seems likely that we come from every circumstance. We were probably kings and queens in one life and slaves in others. We survived wild animals, wars, revolutions, the black death, religious persecution, raping, pillaging, drought, ice ages, and in the best of times only lived into our thirties. We came here from all corners of the planet. We braved angry oceans in wooden ships, or made the long trek over the landbridge at the top of the world. We are the hardiest of the hardy.
So be thankful. I am. No matter how we’ve screwed up in this life, there is always redemption, if you are so inclined. We fight and complain, but usually it is because we believe that things can be better.
And they can be. It’s something we owe to those who will come after us, and to those who fought and scratched their way through life to make ours possible. It’s no small thing.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.