Grace

Warning:  You may want to wait to read this until your own turkey is in the oven.  Or at least until you’ve had your coffee.

It is Tuesday. My naked, sad, cold turkey is thawing.  Thanksgiving morning, I will rise, eat breakfast, have two cups of strong, hot coffee, and deal with this pale, goosebump-y creature who has taken up an entire refrigerator shelf for days.   I will perform the bathing and dressing ritual for a bird who, less than a month ago, was probably wandering around stupidly in a pen, with vacant eyes,  oblivious to the fact that her number had come up.

I will christen her.   She deserves a name. Maybe….. Trudy.  Or Eunice.  Or Grace.  Yes, she looks like a Grace.

Violating a large, cold, slippery large breasted bird every November.  What an odd, odd custom when you stop and think about it.

Today I spotted a half dozen of her distant, luckier cousins out in the middle of a barren  farm field,  huddled together, pecking away at nothing much.  Over the past several years, this has become a common site in rural Minnesota.  Often, the turkeys trudge single file, heads down, along the shoulders of gravel roads, like sad refugees.  They are enormous and kind of ugly and do not look happy.  They look worried.  Like they have a lot on their minds.

I am thankful for turkeys.  The tame ones and the wild ones, too.  No other holiday main dish is as generous as a turkey, with leftovers that seem to improve with age throughout the long weekend. Until Sunday evening, when everyone wants pizza.

I’m thankful for so much.

What a lucky blessing to live in peace and plenty.  As I write this, on the other side of the world brown-skinned children huddle together in the dark, the hum of Drone aircraft above them and missiles exploding in their neighborhoods.  Discussions about “peace agreements” and who has the “right to exist” on land that is both historic and sacred continues decade after decade.  I wonder what one is thankful for during an air strike.

But here, on this side of the world,  this week we will shop and clean and bake and gather our people together at tables on Thursday.  We will count our blessings.  Eat Grace.  Be Thankful.

Ever thankful.

Never, ever, thankful enough.

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