Growing up, I was perpetually troubled by Thanksgiving—a day in which we celebrate one of the world's most catastrophic genocides, in which we repaint history for our own untainted conscience, in which we demonstrate appreciation and gratitude for what we have by demonstrating that we simply can't have enough, stuffing our faces until the supermarkets are empty and emptying our wallets until our minivans are stuffed, literally trampling others for a fifty-percent-off Blu-Ray player or a buy-one-get-one HDTV. I never cared for the food nor the football, and when it came to flan, I was never a fan. Thanksgiving is a day in which we allow ourselves to feel good about pardoning one turkey though we've killed fifty million more, in which we feel good about breaking bread with a few Native Americans though we've, well, killed fifty million more.
And still, not much has changed—it's still an orgy of food and floats, of traffic and television, of self-interest and self-indulgence, American hubris and American portion control.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Thanksgiving—when stripped of all its cultural baggage—is nothing more than a day to give thanks, to truly appreciate what one does have, a reminder of how fortunate we all are each and every day. So today, obligatory pontification now out of the way, I want to take a moment to say thanks.
I feel so blessed to live the life I do, to have the privilege of yet another year, to have the opportunity to have spent that year so fully and so well. From tremendous progress on my tiny house to an unforgettable and life-changing two months scootering across the continent, from the incredible ability to have my thoughts and passions broadcast locally, nationally, and worldwide to simply relishing time spent with irreplaceable neighbors, friends, and community, I really couldn't ask for anything more.
Thank you to every individual who has lifted a hammer or hammered a nail for the betterment of the Matchbox, to every inquisitive soul who has wandered through Boneyard Studios for an open house, bonfire, concert, or story. Thank you to those who have supported my tiny house adventure from near and afar, to the many who have guided me along with their encouragement, advice, and wisdom.
Thank you to those who spent countless hours with me sharing maps, detours, and cautionary tales before I left for the road last May—I have you to thank for my safety, security, and spectacular sights. And thanks to the immeasurably kind souls who provided lodging and food and warmth and friendship during cold, lonely stretches of safari, to the friends, friends' friends, and absolute strangers who never thought twice about opening their doors to a weary traveler—I have you to thank for my affirmed faith in the awesome generosity of humanity.
Lastly, thank you to those who have been there for me during all of life's unplanned adventures, who have kept me company over a bottle of wine, who have taught me new things and made me a better person, who have taken care of me when I needed being-taken-care-of and who trusted me to do the same when it was my time to return the favor. Thanks for making my life all the richer, all the better, and all the sweeter—thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being part of it.