Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another good day to be thankful


Thanksgiving around here is just another day, colored a bit perhaps by the knowledge that others about are engaging in our national annual exercise in sloth and gluttony, based on a myth, celebrating the poultry food product industry that abuses millions of innocent birds every year. Supported by the oil products industry killing thousands of featherless bipeds in the Middle East. Things to be thankful for.

No matter. Nothing to be done about it. It's just another example of industrial society run amok, of thoughtless consumerism, to be followed by even greater heights of mindless "shopping," whatever that is. Never did understand the concept of "shopping," as an exercise in itself. I'm a hunter-gatherer myself: spot the prey, stalk it down, slap down the filthy lucre, make a break for home. Zip, bam, I'm done.

It was a good day, Thursday, as all days are. We rose at a decent hour, well after the morning sun had taken the chill off the front room, rising from 50 degrees to a respectable 62. Morning tea and toast as the house gently warmed itself, helped along by a modest fire in the wood stove.

Along about noon, give or take an -ish or two, we sauntered down to the beach for a stop at our local pub overlooking the breaking surf, with a vast panoramic vista across Monterey Bay, there to meet friends and neighbors at the bar, sip a respectable house wine and enjoy a salad from the salad bar. We walked along the beach, admiring the almost-full moon rising behind the eucalyptus trees along Schwann Lagoon, home to many cormorant families enjoying their Thanksgiving meals, thankful they weren't born turkeys.

One of the nicest things about this time of year is the particular absence of the insufferable human invasion that clogs the sands and blocks the roads with sound and smog-belching automobiles from May to September. We're a "destination," we are told, so we must welcome the dollar-mobiles, and the dollarists who drive them, to dollarbathe on the beaches and stroll, dollaring, down our streets and sidewalks. It's "the economy," you know. You've heard of "the economy," the be-all and end-all of human existence? It's alive and well here on the Left Coast, at least for those with plenty of dollars to spread, liberally, about the place.

Some of us, however, just live here, and when the dollarists flee the fog, and the 40 degree nights, and the crisp chill air of morning, and the winter storms that drive leaves and branches far up the sloughs and lagoons, we celebrate a semblance of return to a quieter, gentler way. We look forward to the day when quiet is the norm, when the dollar-mobiles are scarce as turkey teeth and the cormorants wing through skies as clear as their babies first cries.

For this we give thanks in advance.

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