The day before Thanksgiving in the States is a day unlike any other. The streets are more crowded than usual and grocery stores, in particular, bustle with every inhabitant of the city. Some people appear hurried as they have waited until the last minute to grab the trimmings of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Others are more relaxed, having planned their holiday feast weeks, if not months, prior to today. As such, they take the time to smile at strangers passing by.
A heartfelt smile can change the course of a day. It has a power far greater than one can imagine as it is contagious, capturing all on its path. Such were the few smiles I observed earlier in the day at Central Market. I drove there not particularly needing anything other than to observe and to be amongst people who were preparing to celebrate a day of giving thanks with their family and friends. As I made my way through the store, I filled my shopping cart with non-traditional Thanksgiving foods such as cauliflower, a green bell pepper, bananas, and cheddar cheese as well as a few traditional ingredients like fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme albeit there would be no turkey roasting in the oven tomorrow.
This year Thanksgiving will be a quiet occasion at home alone but I will still spend time in the kitchen making split pea soup, challah bread, and gingerbread cookies for my children who will arrive Friday morning. I promised my son I would have pumpkin pie for him when he arrived, so it is my intent to attempt baking one tomorrow with the small pumpkin I bought last week. Christmas will also be quiet this year as the children will be with their father, but I will see them a day later and we will celebrate together into the new year.
Life is short and should be celebrated and savoured to its fullest. It is finding the good amongst the bad. Life is what you make of it though sometimes it seems difficult to do so. It is making the best out of the situation we are given and never giving up. Life is finding the wonder within and taking a chance on a miraculous adventure. An adventure of unforeseen experiences, of taking risks, of living a life we never would have dreamt of happening to us.
As I recall the words my boyfriend sent me this morning via Viber, I couldn't help but smile. He still did not believe what I had done, but I'm not sure it has sunk in for me yet as well. 'Are you really serious about next week, honey?' he asked. I told him I was, that I booked my ticket earlier that morning, and would see him next Saturday at 6am at the airport. Nine days we will have to appreciate and give thanks for what we have together. The heartfelt smile on his face tonight on Skype was most memorable and I look forward to our belated Thanksgiving and early Christmas celebration.