Thanksgiving – my favorite holiday, a day devoted to food, family, friends and gratitude, a day that reminds me of just how much I have in life – my family and friends, my health, my job, the release of my second novel.  I am lucky beyond words, and reflecting that, my list of thanks is endless.

I am thankful for a warm and loving family and supportive friends, for it is that base that allows me to be who I am.  I am appreciative, too for my home, and grateful for the electricity and running water in my house since there are so many around the world who have neither, and I am thankful for my washing machine because I know the misery of bending into an icy stream in some faraway place to do my wash.  I am grateful too for my noisy furnace since with every groan, I know it’s working to keep me warm.  And I am grateful for my fireplace which offers a nostalgic and magic kind of warm.  I am grateful to be stuck in the heavy morning traffic because it means I am lucky enough to be one of those job-holders with someplace to go.  I am especially thankful for the plates of food that I will share on Thanksgiving and I am even more delighted with the laughter and love that will surround this meal.

I am grateful for every single thing that has ever come my way, and I expect that I’ll be expressing my own private gratitude every day of my life.  But, on this Thanksgiving, when I eat a little too much, I will remember to pause and ask that people everywhere, especially those in the world’s hard-scrabble spots, have as much to be grateful for as I do.  I will remember too, Malala Yousafzai, the young girl in Pakistan who was shot by the Taliban because she dared to  stand up to those wild eyed thugs and board a bus that would take her to school.  Recovering now, she has declared her intentions to return to school.  The Taliban in turn have declared their intentions to target her again.  In my stream of wishes this year, I hope that we will all stand up with Malala Yousafzai against the Taliban’s evil, and even more that her dream of an education will bloom and grow for her and for so many others whose dreams have been scattered and lost in the winds of war and hate.  I am thankful for little girls such as Malala for she gives me hope that the winds will turn and all those lost dreams will be gathered up and allowed to blossom and thrive.   And that will be something for which we can all give thanks.

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