Thankful for what?

Thanksgiving is a wonderful Holiday, and one that is usually filled with Family, good friends, and a bounty of delicious food.
But this year my view of this Holiday was very different. And I know this is due to my practice.

On one hand, this day could have been one of the saddest days in many years. My dear Sister-in-law is not with us for the first time, and all of our grown children are spread-out all over the World. Even my older Sister who lives close-by, decided to spend the week out-of-state with her Husband.
But instead of this day being filled with sadness, it was a day filled with joy, love and laughter.

One could easily wonder how this could be, and if I have become somehow insensitive because of my Buddhist practice. When in actuality, I see that I have become more loving, compassionate, and most importantly, gained acceptance that I did not have before.
I realize now that the love I have for all of my Family that is not physically present has not diminished because of that. I hold each of them closely and lovingly in my heart, regardless of the distance between us.
And I also realized yesterday that Thanksgiving Day makes this no more true than any other day. I am so very thankful every day, and my loved ones are with me always. I am with them always. Open, available, and always deeply connected.

This is the glaring change that I see has evolved because of my practice. I am so thankful for this day. Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not some Holiday, but this very day.
And I am so very thankful for all of you, my kalyana mitta (spiritual friends), for it is with each of you that I have arrived at this place, right here and now.

May you each be present and aware of all your blessings today.
And may you be well, happy and peaceful.