November 29, 2014
Thanksgiving was beautiful. The day was cloudless and sunny, with temperatures in the mid forties by afternoon. I went with friends to one of their parents’ home for dinner. The meal was delicious and the visit cordial. Afterward, loaded with leftovers, we stopped to visit a friend who had to work, leaving some of the bounty with her. Then, I went home for a very traditional after dinner nap on the divan – and damn the calories. I suspect I wasn’t the only one.
I cherish such days, such friendships, such experiences, tucking them away with as much care as I do extra canned goods and gardening tools. I’ve done this all my life. They are as important to me as the gardens I plant and as much a preparation against hard times to come as they have been against hard times past.
Though I must admit, I’ve squandered a few with pettiness or anger, walked right by others – distracted – and failed to appreciate some until I’d scrubbed off a little of the grime and realized the value of what I had. And I’m not so vain as to imagine that others haven’t had similar reactions toward me.
Nevertheless, we live in a declining Empire, well on its way to the next downward step in that decline. We can fear all the correct enemies of that empire, hate all the right people, shop ‘til we drop, go in debt up to our eyeballs. None of this will save the Empire. For most of us, life is going to get appreciably more difficult. We’re living at the end of an extraordinary and, frankly, aberrant period of abundant energy and resources – one that we’ve mostly squandered – and are going to have to live with the consequences as they grow scarce.
The government may have promised us something different, but life never has. We can tear ourselves and the world apart with anger and self pity or we can cherish the good days, the good friends, the good experiences, storing them away – food for the heart – with the same care we’d store away food for the body. And we can be thankful.