Please forgive the delay in this post. These words have been in the works since Thanksgiving Day and it took several revisions to come up with a post that fully encapsulated how I felt this past Thanksgiving. I want to thank you kindly for reading and in advance for commenting or sharing. I truly am thankful for any and all who read my words and perhaps enjoy them.
Wednesday 26 November 2014 11:30 a.m.
16th Street Mall, Denver, CO
The magic makers had arrived and transformed what would normally be a bustling downtown full of office workers into a quiet, peaceful place as most were at home beginning their long weekend early. Those that remained – the waiters, straggling office staff who were not quite so lucky, the bar tenders, the retailers, etc. – harbored no ill will it seemed for there was a general feeling of happiness that coated the surface of the air. The deceptive sun illuminated everything not cast in shadow by the megalithic buildings. Cold still prevailed.
Within the shadows was an alternate world begging for attention, time, kindness and compassion. The blessed were consumed by thoughts of plans of the pending feast, the shopping and the sales. The shadow dwellers were consumed with hunger, pain, anguish and sadness. A hot dog cart was being set up at the same time a cardboard sign was held up in hopes that any passerby would pay attention. Few if any did. The radio at the hot dog cart was turned on and the first sounds were announcements of shopping starting early as stores would open at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. This day set aside specifically to reflect on all we have to be grateful for has become nothing more than a tuning of instruments in preparation for the main performance – Christmas.
The shadow dwellers are cold and hungry. What are they thinking as they take in all the blessed rushing here and there preparing for feasts and mass consumerism? Subway restaurant is open and though not the best food in the world can provide assistance to anyone with the notion to do so for many sandwiches can be purchased relatively cheaply.
A young woman stands in the alley with a simple sign – “Just Hungry”. She is not alone in the world but she feels like she is. Perhaps some simple kindness, a simple meal and simply giving time can help. Time will tell. An elderly man with his prized possessions amassed in an old shopping cart enters a building that has a ‘lobby’ of sorts that acts as a perfect holding place for his worldly goods. It is also the perfect place to get warm and for a moment feel human. At first, he is not accepting of anything but he relents and his cart is adorned with a simple meal.
The day carries on but not without burden of thought and sadness. There is an eventuality coming that resembles heaven and paradise for some and isolation and sadness for others. Are we doing enough to bring these two worlds together? Should anyone in a country so rich be so hungry, so isolated, so lonely, so sad and bereft of hope?
What does it mean to give thanks? What are we thankful for exactly? Is it a perfunctory acknowledgement of all we take for granted while at the same time yearning for the things we do not have? With meal over, nap taken, we can head out and quench that yearning. Notwithstanding the consideration of others and their personal time with family, there will be a convergence and more things will be purchased and for the savings of a few dollars, we will truly give thanks. In the interim, the shadow dwellers will sit in silence.
- A Wish for Thanksgiving by Eve Searle
- Could You Find Me?