An early Thanksgiving morning and much to be thankful for on this 50th birthday weekend.
Our friends, Atsushi and Etsuko, and their two offspring, Hajime and Yuki, visited last night for two hours on their way to PEI to see Mom. That includes the time in the train station and on the way to the airport to drop them off. Atsushi can only take a maximum of five days off in a row, so their vacations are miniaturized and very busy. Our visit started at 11pm.
These times are precious, filled with grace and gratitude. Our friends are enchanted by all things Canadian – a view of the treehouse in the dark, my dog Mec, Jim’s big white house, the football stadium. The dog is exhausted from the exertions of Friday night’s birthday party, and blessedly docile, so Yuki slowly learns to cuddle up with him. I hope that the picture is perfect. Their English is careful and precise, and we laugh together at simple things, enjoying a friendship that comes from understanding important things that are hard to express.
Hajime will start his first job as a civil engineer when they go back to Japan, and he is hoping to be assigned to one of the teams preparing for the Tokyo Olympics. He does not expect to go to any of the sporting events, because he will be too busy ensuring that they are good hosts. I find this humbling.
Yuki is training to be a nurse, and clearly understands everything I say because she has a beautiful musical laugh. Her voice is clear and steady and I think that I would like to have her looking after my family if they were sick. We share stories about her clinical training and how much work it is to learn so much so fast.
Hajime was born in Canada, and they have come back several times on holidays. He laughs in delight as Mec comes for a pat on the head. He says that Canada is a place where you live in dreams – you have a dog and a treehouse – in Japan we talk about these things, but there is not enough space to do them.
Today, the sun is shining through the golden leaves on the trees, I am tired but healthy, and grateful for the teams of medical people that keep making this true. I am surrounded by friends who have traveled from several continents to share this weekend, and by a family that has survived divorce – still intact, supportive, and loving by any standard – and able to respond to the community of friends we live in and love. I am looking forward at the second half of my adult life – another 30 years to squander in so many wonderful ways!
Not only that.
I have a dog, and a tree house. I can plug my computer into the wall to charge it, and I have clean drinking water at the touch of a valve. I will wake up in the morning on Tuesday and be allowed to drive my car and send my daughters safely to school, and speak the truth freely.
…and there is a fresh turkey and squash waiting to be transformed into a Thanksgiving dinner for nine. A full table to share the abundance.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving !