In honor of Thanksgiving, which underneath the turkey and the mashed potatoes and pecan pie and oyster stuffing, is really a holiday created to celebrate that oft forgotten emotion named gratitude, I'd like to give thanks throughout the coming weeks for the tiny things for which I am exceedingly, deliriously, mind, body and soul thankful for. And tonight I am thankful for:
1) the smell of fresh cilantro. Nothing takes me back to my childhood like the smell of fresh herbs. I can be a thousand miles and minutes away, but give me a whiff of fresh cilantro and I'm a little girl in my mother's kitchen or a kid wandering around the greenhouses and gardens of my aunt Jo' Powhatan farm. Fresh herbs not only have the magical effect of instantly elevating a meal from standard fare to something wonderful, but the slightest suggestion of their earthy, full scent makes me feel home again.
2) Top Chef premiere tonight! as someone who loves food a great deal and who dabbles in cooking, Top Chef is an aspiring foodie's paradise. I can't wait to see the new contestants, who to love, who to hate, who to love to hate.
3) The fact that around 5pm tonight the moon in the sky outside looked like this:
Albeit seen from farther away. It was one of those moons that, if seen when driving, nearly makes you crash. I was on the way home from Harris Teeter, and smack dab in the middle of the sky in front of me, there was this unbelievably full moon. It was fully visible even though it wasn't dark yet, as if this vibrant, orange shaped moon simply couldn't wait for her more glamorous cousin, the sun, to go down. She was at the peak of her beauty after all, and far too impatient to wait for the right cue.
4) My new "beet sugar" coat from Old Navy.
5) that my "job" is spending a day with this little munchkin
Yes I slave away my days walking one and a half blocks to the beach with the cutest, sweetest, little 15 month old on the planet. Again and again I return to the world of nanny-hood and there's usually a moment per day when I remember why. Today it was when Hampton did the traditional one year old move of affection toward a newly acquainted friend. I was holding her, and she smiled wide, scrunched her face up in delight, and head-butted me. This may sound alarming for someone not used to children, but for one thing her head is far too small for it to hurt, and also from the time I've spent with babies I've learned they show their affection in unusual ways. From head-butts to body slams, babies who lack the ability to talk find peculiar ways to show when they're feeling happy and safe. Honestly, I think they're on to something. In many ways a head butt or a body slam feels like a much more logical way to show affection than with our adult methods of conversation and poorly articulated words. And this little girl (shown above in leg warmers, I mean how cute is that!?), has completely melted my heart.
6) for nearly empty beaches, for the resolve and enthusiasm that come on the first day of a diet (we shall see), for warm Barnes and Nobles, for my favorite spice Cumin, for cardigans, for the fresh seafood counter at Harris Teeter, for good conversations with old friends...
for the courage to change plans.
For all of these things I am thankful tonight.