Thursday, November 26, 2009

November 26: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving! And so the holiday season officially begins. My husband and I spent a good day in southern Maine enjoying a bountiful meal with his family, grateful for sharing time and food with those we love. We returned home in rain, dark, and fog, and I was worried the heavy mist would obscure my favorite part of this special day--seeing the star on the Mount Battie tower lit up for the first night of the season. I didn't think we'd see it through the clouds, but my husband bet me a quarter we would. Sure enough, when we crested the hill past Simonton Corner, there it was: a blur of light seemingly floating in the night sky. We might not even have been aware of what we were seeing if we didn't know there was a small mountain ahead of us bearing a star of lights on its summit.

Rainy Thanksgiving.
First glimpse of Mount Battie star--
smear of misty light.

And then there are other local holiday traditions that make me smile. As we turned into our neighborhood, we could see how our neighbors the Wards had spent their Thanksgiving. When we hit the road this morning, a deflated turkey lay slumped on their lawn. Tonight, thousands of Christmas lights, reindeer, candy canes, inflatable Santas and snowmen bedeck their home and yard. During the holidays, this is the most-visited house in town. Even when I was a kid we would make a special side trip so we could marvel at their light show. Only a Scrooge would complain about the energy drained. Not to sound like a credit card ad, but traditions like these that invoke the joy and wonder of the holidays--a joy and wonder that have persisted since childhood--are priceless. The nights grow longer these last few weeks until the Solstice. But our spirit is strengthened by these lights, this star, in the darkness.

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