after grey cat died in my arms on the antiseptic table at a vet’s office, i cried with my head against a wall and felt more alone than i ever had in my entire life, the breath of my good loyal friend gone from the world, no longer her big gold eyes watching over me, padding quietly after me wherever i went, blessing me with her watchful and completely selfless love for sixteen years. i knew i would get another cat, but i didn’t think it would be so soon. however, fate, as it will, intervened, and the addition of the kittens to the house has been so welcome. they are, to put it bluntly, crazy; i’d forgotten the mischief that two kittens can cause. falling into bathtubs, playing endlessly with jingling furry feathery toys, scaling bookshelves, chasing each other’s tails, walking across computer keyboards, dragging little girl pajamas into litter boxes…collapsing into exhausted naps like the babies they are, purring and purring and purring.
last night i dreamed of being lost trying to find my way somewhere, but not alarmingly so; just more confused than i had thought i should be to get where i was going, lost on backstreets and taking trams via a circuitous route, seeing things i hadn’t expected to see, but never entirely fearful that i wouldn’t get where i was going. then i was on a beach in australia looking in cottage windows at a happy family and feeling happy for them; then i was with people who are very important to me, trying to quickly enjoy their presence and trying not do anything to scare them off, or that would make the moments end. i woke up this morning and came downstairs to snow falling, and when i turned on the radio, rhapsody in blue was on wrcj. i tend to celebrate with food, so i made hazelnut coffee and cranberry orange scones and thought about fairy tales and read some blogs. it’s thanksgiving.
i never used to think much more about thanksgiving except that it was a great holiday for eating. it is, of course, that, but somehow this year it is different for me. somewhere this year i learned about gratitude; there’s something about losing many things in your life that you thought were unloseable that can make you extremely appreciative for the other things in your life that still manage to be awesome. yesterday, in my work cafeteria, a girl i barely know called over the salad bar to me that i should enjoy my holiday, how excited she was for hers, she and her family had already started the food preparations, and the holiday is all about family. it kind of hit me, over the salad bar, how surrounded i was at that moment by so many people who are full of love and happiness and togetherness and joy, and i’m somehow a strange part of that too, and can find it in the most unexpected places. it’s always there, even when it seems to have entirely faded from view. old things leave and new things appear and in the midst of that turmoil and constant change there is always something to feel grateful for, and now at the age of forty i understand what thanksgiving is really about.
all the best to you and yours.