Layered bundles is a fair assessment of most of us, certainly in the winter months ahead here in Canada. Some of us engage in peeling layers off from time to time. Thanksgiving enshrines the practice. Underneath all the flab and gab, who are we and what do we really love? Griping may be a national sport; relief arrives in the seventh inning stretch on a turkey platter.
You guys already know this is my favourite holiday. I’m raring to go all gonzo on gratitude. Mix it up in the cocktail pitcher.
Cue the relatives.
Of course, we’re grateful. We’re here, aren’t we? Showing up is part of it. Three cheers for rituals.
We love our special foods. Can Aunt Sarah bring her mashed potatoes again?
We love our trips to catch the colour show. New Canadians are always stunned by the deep snow banks yet it is our colours preceding them that instil the wow; a first sense of glory. I live here. This is my place to share. No matter what I’m wearing, the colours are mine to share.
Peel away the food, peel away the mealtime blessing (thank you for the world so sweet) and what else?
My voice. Who gave it to me? How did I know it was okay to speak?
My mom called the other day to read me a poem. She found it among her letters and wanted me to know she had saved it. It was a slip of a thing, that poem, about little people I spotted in the garden. Neither of us remember when I wrote it so instead I went for a visit and we engaged in a little detective work on penmanship. The scrawl suggests second grade. Look at that, I’m ready for police work.
Nobody in my house ever told me fairies don’t exist. Nobody told me I was foolish to scribble down rhymes about things I imagined.
Read them to us, is what they said.
Every time we traveled we kept journals. Mine are hardly Nobel worthy: my daily entries always ended with a full description of what we ate for dinner.
They laughed at some dorky lines but they didn’t edit out the apple pie.
Speak up. We want to hear from you.
We need to listen to each other, but only if we’re talking face to face. I pledged to do better at this already this week. Family members will surely remind me.
We will not be silent. We will not be invisible. We are speaking out, setting our words on fire, says Malala Yousafzai’s anthem video.
You cannot speak up if you don’t have a voice. This Thanksgiving, I’m grateful to those who gave me mine.
Peel away your own layers this long weekend. Forecasts call for balmy weather so I’m planning to shed the raincoat.