Thanksgiving – A time for Hope?
I have spent the past few days considering what the holidays will look like this year. I ask myself, How can a happy holiday be possible?
There has been so much loss and tragedy all over our planet and I’ve heard many stories of incredible loss in the last few weeks. With Thanksgiving just days away it’s hard to know that for some the Holidays will be spent with one less loved one or in a hotel or on the streets because their home is gone. Many of my clients who did not lose their homes, feel guilty because they still have a home. Everyone is struggling with their new reality, whatever that may be. Celebration in a time like this feels difficult.
I’ve also been told beautiful stories of miracles in these last few weeks. Recently, one of my patients shared her story of being evacuated from her home during the fires. Initially they had no idea where to go, so they headed toward a shelter. When their only option was staying at the closest shelter they chose to sleep in their car for the first few days instead. They got to go home briefly at one point, and then were forced to evacuate more urgently again. This time they decided to sleep at the shelter and were humbled by the experience! The generosity and love she was given by total strangers opened her heart. Despite the situation, the people in that shelter kept their spirits up and hope alive by the connection they shared with one another! When she did finally get to go home, she felt transformed. The biggest gift for her was that she was able to give love and healing to others as much as they gave to her.
Throughout my years of being in practice – it has always been the gift of sharing with others, and giving to them that has pulled me out of difficult times.
This morning I read a quote by the poet, Philip Larkin, “What will survive of us is love”.
I can’t think of words more touching today. No matter what I, or any of us, have seen or endured, love cannot die. The ability for me, or you, or anyone to love remains. I feel it for all of my patients and my friends and family. Within the mess of sadness and fear there is and will always be, love. Maybe it even grows stronger in the light of tragedy.
I remember, that the pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving after a year of extreme difficulty when they came to the new land. The holiday was meant to be an expression of love and gratitude – gratitude that they had survived that year. Everybody brought what they had to share, and a feast was created.
We all have the opportunity at this time to embrace one another in love. To celebrate our connections, our love and to spread hope and joy because of love.
“What Will Survive of Us Is Love” -Philip Larkin