I am not particularly a fan of the colonialist and oppressive origins of the American Thanksgiving holiday, and the degree to which it masks the positively awful way we have treated, and continue to treat, Native Americans in this country. Remembering the truth of that history is always the first thing that Thanksgiving means to me.

But like many, I also choose to use this day as an opportunity to practice gratitude with friends and family.

We are living through extraordinarily frightening times. The past two years have been marked by horrific suffering and loss of life, both of which continue around the world. I am acutely conscious of just how lucky I and my family have been throughout this terrible ordeal. While some of our friends and their family members have tragically been lost to the pandemic, our little family has remained healthy and safe.

Our circumstances have allowed us to continue our lives and careers and education with only the superficial annoyances and challenges that accompanied Zoom-based working and school, while so many of those around us lost livelihoods or struggled to maintain some semblance of learning for their children.

We have had a roof over our heads and relatively uninterrupted access to good food, medical care, and the affordances of first-world infrastructure. And of course, there was never any danger of running out of good wine.

In short, the amount of things for which we should be thankful seems staggering, even before the blessings that accompany the fact that we are once again (in our region of the world) able to gather with friends and loved ones for the holidays.

As usual, I am also deeply grateful for those of you who choose to spend moments of your life reading what I choose to write, and following the breadcrumb trail of my adventures across social platforms as I move through my charmed life. With a nearly endless list of possible ways you could occupy your time, the fact that you spend some of it enjoying my efforts is humbling.

I hope wherever you are, and regardless of whether you are celebrating the holiday that we Americans call Thanksgiving, that you and those you love are safe, healthy, and happy. If you happen to have a glass of wine with which to toast whatever good fortune you also enjoy this season, I raise my own glass to yours, with gratitude for what we have, and awareness of how many of our brethren around the world have so much less.

Wine has always been about connecting people and the places that they call home. I wish you and those you love renewed connections, health, happiness, and continued prosperity.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Photos by Kimson Doan and Enis Yavuz on Unsplash.