Hm…what am I thankful for that hasn’t been already said? My senses, I believe, so I’ll break it down.
1.I can feel the caress of a breeze on my skin, and it doesn’t hurt. I have a friend with a nerve disorder, and the slightest touch on her face is agonizing. Even a breeze, or a feather causes her to bend over and call out in pain. That I can feel a kitten’s tail on my cheek, or the warm thud of a shower on my shoulders, that I can enjoy the silky texture of a creme brulee, or the rough scrub of a bristle brush underneath my nails, I am thankful for these.
2.I can smell the smoke of a neighbors fireplace, and the sweet-tart scent of cranberries popping open in orange juice in a pot on the stove. I adore the salty stink of a grubby 8 yr old boy who’s been outside getting sweaty, and the delicate sweetness of an iris just opened in the garden. I like the smell of freshly turned soil, in a field to be planted, and the aroma of a steak being grilled. Bread, chocolate, and coffee all make me smile. That I can smell the sharp odor of burning wires, warning me of danger, to turn off the car and get out. I have a little trouble being thankful for the excess of perfume I sometimes encounter, but I suppose even that sensitivity is a blessing, because it keeps me from inflicting the same discomfort on others.
3.I can see. I need help to do it, but I can see. The perfection of a Comte du Champagne rose, pale honey colored, in a vase with a sprig of ivy, the sunlight through the blue glass bottles on my windowsill, the silly behavior of the dogs in the backyard, all good things to see. Because I can see, I can read the music on the piano, and drive a car, and sew a new dress. I can go to my kids school plays and see them in their Sunday best. I can watch the ground, and not trip over things, I can read a recipe and cook something tasty, I can look in the mirror and fix my hair. All good things that sight allows. I can even read the little screen on my iPod, and choose some music to listen to.
4. I can hear, all sorts of things. The screech of a cat when I step on it’s tail (that I didn’t see), the boiling over of a pot of rice on the stove, the thunderous opening of Carmina Burana, all good things to hear. I can hear the brakes on my car scrub, and know that they need new pads. I can hear the shouting and splashing of my kids in the pool on a hot summer day, and the tablesaw of a distant neighbor who’s doing improvements. I hear my dogs bark when a stranger approaches the house, and the soft slap of bread dough on the counter. I hear the *snick* of a bolt sliding a cartridge home, the *kaPOW* of a rifle shot, and the clatter of a shattered clay hitting the ground. I hear the shower in the morning, telling me I have 5 more minutes before I have to get up. The afternoon timer tells me it’s time to pick my son up from Chess Club, and his chatter all the way home tells me he is a comfortable and secure boy. I think my favorite sound of all is that of the boys, up in one room or maybe in the game room, laughing and talking, discussing ideas and sharing ‘oh-shit’ moments. The ring of the phone, the sound of a beloved’s voice, the rumble of laughter, the soft sweet nothings in my ear…good things to hear.
5. I love the taste of things, even things I don’t love the taste of, like liver. I love the tart crunch of fresh pomegranates, apples, and pears. The smooth, warm flavor of chocolate is something I reserve as a now-and-then kind of treat, something special reserved for private celebrations. Warm fresh bread, right out of the oven and slathered with an obscene amount of real butter. Pungent garlic, sauteed in olive oil and tossed with pasta, a sandwich made with salty peanut butter and sweet, homemade plum preserves…yum, y’all. yum. Nasty flavors are important to me as well. They let me know that the can of tuna I opened has spoiled, or that the milk has been in the fridge a day or two longer than it should. They keep you healthy, those nasty flavors, keep you from food poisoning. Of course, that doesn’t explain turnip greens. They taste terrible even if you just picked them and cooked them on the spot.
So, I’m thinking I’ll sit in the breeze by an open window, enjoy the aroma of cranberries and the sound of the neighbor’s saw. I’ll watch a kitten go spastic with a jinglebell, and contemplate the creamy, garlicky mashed potatoes I’m fixing for supper tonight.