Thinking Thankful

Wow. What an incredible month after a long year when it seemed that nothing could or would go quite right. November notwithstanding, I find myself feeling grateful for the events of the last month, and looking forward in anticipation to all that is yet to come.

To briefly recap; on the first of October, I stood in the chilly darkness of a Dublin morning, waiting for a bus. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would spend that day hiking the cliffs on the west coast of the country, and eating steak and Guinness stew to the music of fiddles and drums. It would be a day to soothe my soul, and remind me of the great beauty in the world.

After returning to the states, I experienced one of the most resplendent fall seasons in my memory. The colors could bring you to tears. Day upon day of crisp sunlight, as though the universe was making up for the misty, grey spring. I picked apples. I drove back roads. I carved pumpkins and roasted the seeds. I put the flannel sheets on the bed and I sipped apple cider. Nearly every day brought another gift. Trick or treat was warm enough to sit on the porch and pass out cupcakes. Children wore costumes without snowpacks.

The final week brought another trip-this time to NYC for work, but with the option to stay longer. An opportunity to see Halloween in with my little cousins, and get excited all over again for costumes and candy. An opportunity to shiver with thousands at the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, and compete for a cab when it started to rain. October was an amazing month, and a daily reminder that all seasons pass, hard or easy, and that there is so much in this world to make us happy.

Today it’s raining. Today it’s cold. Today it’s November. I sip a peppermint mocha and begin to steel myself for the holidays, for the mad dash to 2015. There will be events to coordinate, gifts to buy, baking to do. There will be snow to shovel and ice to salt, a furnace to have inspected, and Halloween decorations to pack for another year. It will be tiring.

But, there will be magical, crystalline mornings and hot chocolate. There will be music, food, and family traditions that have endured, no matter what. There will be starlit nights and peaceful, contemplative Sundays. First snows and “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I’ll visit my best friend and celebrate my baby brother’s 14th birthday.

I’m committing to retaining the joy of the last month. I’m deliberately choosing positivity. And now, I’m choosing Chinatown for lunch. All this cold rain is making me feel like pho. And it will be excellent.

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