Our View: Time to give thanks | TheUnion.com

Our View: Time to give thanks

Many of us have a notion of what Thanksgiving is.

It’s pulled from a combination of our collective unconscious, Norman Rockwell paintings, and our own youth. A drive to grandmother’s house that’s filled with far-flung relatives and too much food. The kids have their own table while the adults crowd around the big folks’ banquet. The air is thick and warm, though sleepy on the eyelids after too much turkey.

It’s a pleasant scene, but what’s so wrong with popcorn, buttered toast and jelly beans for Thanksgiving?

Americans sat down to a variety of meals on Thursday, and gave thanks in different ways. Those of us here in Nevada County were no different.

The feeling of Thanksgiving tends to settle in regardless of your location. Whether it’s a sun-soaked beach on another continent or around your own dinner table, the season manifests in the form of friends and family, good food and camaraderie.

But most of all, its meaning is in the word: We give thanks.

So, thank you.

Thanks to the anticipation of a strong snowpack and good ski season. To the return of vibrant resorts and a, hopefully, booming tourist season.

Thanks for the freedoms we enjoy, recognizing that not everyone is this fortunate. For the momentary peace we currently have, knowing it can’t last. For the fact that, despite a pandemic and all our ongoing problems, we’re lucky enough to live in an unparalleled time of safety, health and education.

Thanks for the turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes with thick gravy, cranberry sauce and hot dinner rolls. Thanks for the Santa Claus Squash, and all the secret, family recipes that have gone from tradition to legend.

Thanks for the non-traditional meals people have each Thanksgiving. The meatless and vegan meals, whether out of health concerns, moral, religious, or other reasons.

Thanks to the mothers and fathers who are no longer with us, and whose actions remain imprinted on this Thanksgiving and all future ones.

Thanks for the Thanksgivings of our past. For the day when, with no family nearby, we gathered with friends and collectively cooked an eclectic feast.

For the men in starched shirts and women in their dresses, and you, very young, awarded a small glass of wine, a taste of adulthood.

For the large family gatherings, when the tablecloth stretches the length of the room and we crowd together for the meal, our names scrawled on red Solo cups. Afterward, the board games come out, and we watch the annual ritual play out on TV.

Another year of Charlie Brown struggling with buttered toast.

Thanks to the police officers, firefighters, first responders and everyone who must work on Thanksgiving, keeping us safe and the engine of society moving. To the nonprofit volunteers, who spend much of their holiday to help feed and clothe those in our community without homes.

Thanks to those who celebrate while living in other countries. Maybe the meal is meatless, or the turkey takes up the whole table, or the season nears summer, or you’re in a place where they don’t speak your language.

Or maybe this Thanksgiving you opt instead to raise a glass of Wild Turkey, remaining ensconced in your own warm home.

The holiday weekend nears its end, and the next season has already begun. Soon, we’ll race to the next month, sprinting toward the new year. We’ll tear our calendars from the walls, replace them with unblemished new ones, and start the whole thing again.

That’s why it’s important, at this moment, to pause and think about our friends and family, the relationships we have that tie us to this place, and the memories we cherish as well as the ones we continue to build.

It’s important to take hold of a transitory stillness,

breathe, and say,

thank you.

The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com

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