Thankful

Even after twenty years, I still don’t do Thanksgiving like those who were born here (it took me a few years to warm up to gratitude in the first place).

This year, though, I do have something to be particularly thankful for: a first Thanksgiving with my partner Caitlin and her dog Collin, who braved a flight over from Kansas a couple of weeks ago. As the two of us settle in together, I am happy that the apartment looks more like a home. We are buying a few new things and moving on a few old things; now there is a cosy fullness about the place. It has also been comforting to fill the fridge, with things for Thanksgiving dishes and other staples – even as we live in a neighbourhood where there are long lines for different food banks almost every day.

I wonder how it must have seemed for Collin, who has spent all his life in the midwest: one day he gets into a noisy, bumpy container, and later that day he ends up in a new space. His first act on coming in the door was to leap on the bed, where he felt safe. It took him a few hours to trust the long hallway, and he still has a tendency to want to go up a different staircase and stop at a different floor to the one we live on. He doesn’t know he is in a different state; while he had never seen the ocean before, he lived close to a large lake, and perhaps experienced Ocean Beach in the same way as he did that – though I suspect the smells were different at the ocean. Perhaps everything else in California smells relatively familiar. He is mapping out his territory around the apartment, and has his own bed, our bed, and the couch to spend his days and nights on, sufficient food and abundant love. I think he likes it.

I know it has been a huge transition for Caitlin, leaving behind much that was dear to her in the midwest, and I am deeply grateful that she felt able to make that leap, and that we have an opportunity to create a new life together, with hopefully many adventures in many different places.  

Collin encounters the ocean for the first time.


One thought on “Thankful

  1. Congrats on you blossoming situation, Shundo. I am appreciating a new situation as well, like Collin discovering the ocean for the first time. I am not saying that I am totally enlightened or anything, but this step is important. I relaxed my belly. For years I have been holding a balled up fist in there and I did not even know it. As women we grow up with a certain image of what we ought to look like if we are going to be if we are going to be a “sexy mama”. For me that included a flat stomach. For years I have been trying to hide my fat belly with my clothing. Now I realize at 58 years of life that the manifestation of my body is not all that important other than a tool for reaching enlightenment. This Thanksgiving I am grateful, amongst many other things, to have a human body that I can awaken in.

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