Ryan Jordan

Thanks for What?

What are people thankful for?

It seems that Thanksgiving is the holiday that launches people into insanity, because it marks that time of year when stress levels peak doing those things that they have been cultured to do by the so-called fabric of American society.

The stress of shopping, elaborate meal planning (and consequent overeating), packing, traveling, and unpacking, financing gifts that nobody needs and will be landfilled in a shorter period of time than what you believed when you bought them, putting up decorations and then taking them down (in three cycles between October 31 and December 26), not to mention buying more, storing more, fixing more, and breaking more.

Welcome to the “holidays”, and thanks for nuthin’.

And then, during the bedlam, there are these magical little moments of grace and simplicity that make you appreciate you’re alive and have been given another day.

Like walking out of my house yesterday morning to the quiet stillness that followed a very cold snow storm that blanketed the Gallatin Valley in sparkling white.

And then, out of nowhere, hundreds of waxwings flew into our fruit trees where they enthusiastically found food for another day.

The scene absolutely mesmerized Chase and I. I can’t remember the last time I simply looked around my own suburban neighborhood and said, “Whoa. That’s cool.” This was one of those moments.

It is the single moment that I was most thankful for yesterday – not because of being in tune with the natural cycles of a Bozeman winter, but because I was invited to be a part of it – a welcome reprieve from the human insanity that will dominate the coming weeks.

So, today, have a Waxwing-style Thanksgiving: appreciate the fruit of the day, grab hold – tight – of the opportunities that God brings you, and recognize that you may not be contributing a whole lot to the spinning of the Earth by assuming the normal role of an American for the next six weeks.

Now, go and hug somebody and toss that stress off the highest cliff you can find.

Photo Use for “A Waxwing Thanksgiving”: Unrestricted for the small or large digital image (click thumbnail for large). Print it, post it, email it, share it, screensaver it … I don’t care, just use it to spread the cheer of holiday simplicity. Poster prints @ 8×12 and 16×24 also available.