Beauty is everywhere on this Thanksgiving Day.
Owen, the girls, and I take a morning run. We want to go far so we can validate eating an extra slice of pie.
We tackle hills, and we talk sometimes. But mostly we just run and breathe. Beauty is in the wind that bites my cheeks. It is in the sound of our feet crunching on the crusted snow - miniature icebergs on the black asphalt.
It is in the fields of cut corn filled with geese who scavenge for frozen husks. Beauty is in the shades of brown (who knew brown could be beautiful?) - the brown tree limbs whose bareness reveals crisscrossed patterns, the mottled brown of a darting squirrel, and the deep brown of the dirt roads.
I find beauty in my family.
The belly-laugh of Charlotte echoes through the house. Truman's rendition of "Maple Leaf Rag" on the piano entertains us at least five times in a row. There is even a beauty in the frenzy of cooking one hour before departure: Elise cuts the dates, Owen de-pits the olives, Amelia and Charlotte help make the salad, I saute the cauliflower, and Madi suggests a variation on our cauliflower dish (and I find such beauty knowing she will be a wonderful cook!).
I find beauty in traditions. Pies - I feel my grandma, mom, and sister beside me as I roll out the dough.
Elise and I enjoy our newly-acquired tradition of green smoothies at 11AM, and we think of Katie.
I see beauty in friendship. The Davis house is warm and inviting. There is beauty in the spread of food- the sheer volume and colorfulness of it. There is beauty in the smell of fresh rolls. And there is beauty in the hugs. There is beauty in the welcome I feel - we have, afterall, been gone for three years, and yet these friends still include us. There is beauty in the laughter as board games and card games ensue. And of course, there is beauty in the extra slice of pie!
There is another beauty which is harder to explain. It is the beauty of memory. I think of the past three years, of friends in Jakarta who braved floods and traffic to come to our home. I think of the swaying palm trees, the autumn dip in the pool, and of Yuli working beside me in the kitchen. I think of the Bill's brazilian turkey, of KA's pie buffet, of Lindy's eggnog, of Shana's stories (and spinach dip!), and of Melissa's challah bread. We were thrown together in the "Jakarta crazy," and yet I found such support and joy in these beautiful people. And although I feel a sense of sadness for no longer being with them - the memory is beautiful.
I am grateful for Thanksgiving beauty all around me.