Gratitude

In a difficult time in our country, I’ve found comfort in sharing - sharing fresh vegetables, sharing encouraging advice, and connecting with folks that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.

I’m a secular person, but admire the way that faith communities make this part of their lives.

Launching a paper lantern:  on a Full Moon celebration, Hoi An, Vietnam
A community Thanksgiving meal this week was a wonderful way to connect with others and share delicious food, donated through the generosity of our local providers - grocery stores, farms, food distributors, and our umbrella foodbank organization (Manna Food Bank), not to mention the small contributions from community gardens like Southside.

Helping distribute fresh produce yesterday afternoon in an adjacent county, I was so glad to be able to help — we had such wonderful vegetables and fruit to share, including some greens from the Southside Community Garden — it’s a good thing to be able to do that, thanks to the various networks that help reallocate great food (and away from landfills). I was volunteering with the YMCA Healthy Living Mobile Pantry again. Love it.

In our loop through downtown Asheville in late afternoon, it was a beautiful late fall day. It was remarkably empty of visitors ( it was Thanksgiving, after all), but there were also more “travelers” and homeless folks evident. They’d gotten a pass, I think, for Thanksgiving, and we’re tolerant in Asheville.

Woody made a number of folks happy, including a homeless couple who seemed to be channeling long ago happy experiences with dogs.

Another young fellow had petted him and said Happy Thanksgiving. We came upon him later, staying in an alcove on a quiet downtown street, having found an outdoor outlet to plug into, so he was watching a movie on his phone. He said he was going to stay there overnight, since he’d traveled to Asheville to visit his mother, and was headed back to Florida.

So my gardening companion asked if he’d like some dinner, he said yes, and since there were few places open to buy him something, we thought the best thing was to take him some of our simple turkey dinner after we’d returned home. Nothing fancy, just some turkey breast slices with gravy, dressing, roasted yams and brussels sprouts, and a couple of cookies. But it was all home-cooked.

Tim said he enjoyed it.

I’m grateful tonight for what we have. Thanksgiving is about gratitude, to me, and giving thanks for our many blessings.

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