There are millions of children all over America who were asked to write about what they are thankful for this holicay season. Most of them were encouraged to look beyond the "things" in their life and reflect on "bigger ideas" and themes. I've read a lot of those entries over the years and know that kids' love for Legos and Wiis really is different from their love of their families.
In the spirit and message of this season, when we reflect on how (and why?) the Native Americans helped the strange "coat people" who desended on their land just as winter was ready to begin, we should indeed be thinking about and remembering our families - those linked by blood and those created from love. We should also be remembering those we are grateful for in our lives. Those in our networks of family members and friends - some old some new - some near and some far- who are part of our nextwork of love and support. I am.
In the spirit and message of this season, I do think it is also "all right" to reflect on some "things" that have helped us through this busy season of our lives. I am grateful that I found the relasing endomorphins that come from long walks. Those powerful substances that have helped me through my own dark and stressful days.
I am grateful for the best jobs on earth. I watch the miracle of learning to read again and again. It is amazing and wonderful - every time. I know the potential impact of everything I say - and do - in every class I teach - and I do not take that power lightly nor carelessly - I am grateful for the opportunity to shape the future every day.
Interestingly, this "forum" is another thing for which I am grateful. It really does give me a way to organize my thoughts and ideas - even if no one other than me ever reads them. At this point in my life - I have a lot to say - and I really have found a way to lead "the writerly life" I have sought since that first TC workshop long ago in the summer of '88.
In the spirit and message of this season, I am also grateful for the NY Times and yes - even the Poughkeepsie Journal that allow me to glimpse outside of my own small daily circle of experiences and ideas. They are indeed my mentor texts and scaffold my thinking. So, while they sure are not giving me a "free" subscription or anything.....I know that while our mentors may come to us primarily electronically in days to come, those that spur my thinking outside of my "sphere" are right there behind those people who have helped me transverse this year.