Because of the recent election, this year more than any other, is a good time to escape extended family and focus on our little family who needed to come together after the devastating events of this year. Several people from both sides of my family (the white Scandinavian side and the brown Indian side) have voted in such a way that emboldens the threat to us all in this country. But I realized that it is not my job to talk with them about it. I will leave that up to my white allies, my white neighbors and my white family. We three will be hunker down and be thankful for the safety and security we have together.
I admit my fear in driving through three three red states just a few short weeks after the election. The fear was great enough to make me consider canceling. But I'm glad we didn't as we encountered many kind people along our journey. We stopped for gas in Nebraska and as we were leaving I saw a sign on the building that said "Safe Here" and from then on the tension eased. The independent store owners in Moab all welcomed us like old friends and asked how life had been since last year. We have been coming here to Moab since 2006 and every year it seems more diverse. But my god, this place has become crowded. It's true that there are two awesome national parks in the area but did we have to let the whole country in on the secret?
Both sides of my family have experienced significant deaths this year. My husband lost his nephew and favorite uncle. I lost my mother. We three lost our cat. It's been a hard year. These losses make me realize that life really is short and impermanent. My husband had pancreas failure just one year before we were married and honestly we both thought he would be gone within five years of being together. But here we are going on 23 years of marriage. For that I am thankful.
And look at HER! Our daughter is the very best that has come into our lives. She fits right in and takes our joy to whole new heights.
I am thankful for so much this year.
I am thankful for the sanctuary within my family and my friends.
I am thankful for the ability to travel our country.
I am thankful for the sun and the light of the moon.
I am thankful for the opportunities to be searching for our better selves.
Because our better selves are always within us. We need to strive everyday to let them out.