Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. Families will gather together throughout the country and sit at tables laden with food. Traditionally, it is a way of giving thanks for the abundance of the harvest. And, even though the tradition was carried to the US (and Canada) from England, many different cultures have a special day in which they commemorate the harvest.
When I first moved to Holland, I tried to continue the Thanksgiving tradition with other expat friends. But we grew scattered and our little tradition died. And so, I will not be sitting down to a large dinner with family or friends.
However, this morning I did find myself musing about the things that nourish me. Truly nourishing things, not the things that simply make me feel sated. Those things that fill a deep need in me, that help me grow and feel happy.
I’m grateful for the presence of a few people in my life with whom I can talk about that which really matters to me. People who share their feelings and thoughts with me and truly listen to me. This feels very nourishing.
The solace of quiet solitude, something I tend to brush aside in my busy life of doing, gives me nourishment. When I do allow myself to sit quietly, it brings me back to the essence of who I am in this world.
The beauty in nature, the constant flitting of little birds at the feeding station outside the window, the way the sunlight falls at an angle through colored leaves, the way snow falls without a sound. These are some of the most nourishing things I know.
The happiness I feel watching my grandchildren play and witnessing my children as adults is nourishing. Not necessarily out of pride (though I am proud of them), it’s the simple joy of seeing the way they become more and more themselves.
After some health issues last summer, I learned to pay attention to healthy eating. A burgundian by nature, I suddenly found myself challenged to combine good tastes with good food. It’s beginning to work; I lavish even more care and attention to my cooking than I used to. And at the same time, I have become sensitive to which foods truly nourish me and which ones make me feel tired and run-down.
And so I feel a deep gratitude for the abundance in my life. I wish all of you, whether or not you will celebrate Thanksgiving today (or any other day), true nourishment in your lives.