No, don’t pass the cranberry sauce and turkeys, relax—you have a few more weeks of struttin’ and peckin’ before stuffin’ and bastin.’. But biking home from my ritual Friday sing with my Mom and the old gang, I was filled with gratitude for it all. That someone diagnosed my Mom’s infection, got her antibiotics and turned her from a crazed old lady spitting and screaming and throwing things back to her sweet old self at my side by the piano. That someone made my windbreaker jacket that allowed me to zip down 7th Avenue on my bike with the breeze around me rather than through me. That I could still actually bike the 10 miles round-trip up and down hills with a young man’s strength. That some bitterness has leeched out of me and allowed me to have a civil meeting that would have been gut-wrenching just five months earlier. That a simple phone call with a credit card number solved my disappearing Website mystery. (It really just vanished! Because I had overlooked a $12 re-registration fee.) Suddenly, everything was worthy of celebration and gratitude— as it mostly should be.
October ended with the mixed bag of my Mom’s infection and me getting a cold balanced by our spectacular Halloween ritual finally witnessed by parents in our new Community Center, getting to tell the Baba Yaga story to 100 open-mouthed and wide-eyed kids with James, Sofia and master musician Jackie Rago as the back-up band, going to San Francisco’s Belvedere St. with the Interns to proudly showcase one of the world’s seven wonders on Halloween night. Went to sleep last night ready for the “hares and rabbit” ritual (done!) and woke up to a promising November.
It looks to be a rich and varied month. Grateful to enter it without the tension of a Presidential election or a home-team World Series (as exciting as those both were last year!) Tomorrow the Day of the Dead celebration to also be shared proudly with the Interns. Next week is the Body Music Festival— workshops and performances with these extraordinary people who spend their time beating their bodies— I love them! And I’m one of them, performing with 15 Middle School kids from our school on Sunday’s Family Show. The next week is the annual Orff National Conference— I’ve been to every one without a miss since 1982. A ritual marker in my year, shifting as I move up the ranks to elder, but still with that neophyte’s excitement about hanging out with friends and colleagues far and wide.
November 18th is my granddaughter’s 2nd birthday, the same as my departed father-in-law's and one day before my departed father’s. Always good to have a reason to go deep into that well of gratitude, for those who gave us life and then rise up to celebrate this two-year old miracle who makes us all so damn happy! And then Thanksgiving, spent up at my daughter’s new home in Portland with just about everyone we usually celebrate with—it has been a while since that happened. And amidst this all, school, school, school, turning toward the December Holiday plays and an ambitious plan to do The Odyssey!
May November be filled for all with the bounty of abundance properly received with gratitude— a cornucopia overflowing not only with the harvest of fruits and vegetables, but love rising, the music flowing, the bodies beating and swaying, the darkening nights turning us inward to good dinner talk, great books and a cozy gathering on the couch with apple cider, fresh popcorn and Hitchcock’s Marnie. That’s my plan tonight.