So many of us are fortunate enough to be preparing or eating an abundance of food for traditional gatherings in the name of gratitude. This photo was taken from the fruits of my garden before the deer figured out they could hop the fence, but I really do want to talk about gratitude and the medals of freedom. I walked into my friend’s house for a visit yesterday and she was watching Obama award the highest civilian honor to 21 Americans prominent culturally through their art, philanthropy, athleticism, science, technological advances, architecture, music and acting. I was riveted because just that morning I was reading the news and feeling sickened by the prospect of our freedom of speech losing its foundational hold in the world as we know it. As a writer I can’t imagine a bigger loss than that essential right that was looking like it was being poked at and threatened in a way I could barely fathom. So it felt like particularly good timing to catch the beautiful ceremony and high spirits of this event. I am grateful for that moment, moved by the grace of our President and the words he used to describe the various aspects of contribution that came from these creative and innovative people. And I realized as I felt the rising emotional and intellectual appreciation in that room, and felt the power of collective creativity, that there will always be hope as long as we can speak, write, sing, build monuments, use our bodies, exercise courage and vision. I am so very grateful that I saw the world and our country through that lens, and I hope to embody that spirit of gratitude at such an important juncture in history. I couldn’t help but wonder what this ceremony might look like next year….So for now let’s be grateful for the efforts and grace of a President who helped us edge forward in ways that can’t always be measured. Grateful for all we do have, that we still have hope and freedom and invincible love …. Happy Thanksgiving !