Alone on Thanksgiving: Making it Through

Alone on Thanksgiving can be a restorative practice. Last year, I decided to spend the day in silence, gratitude and meditation, away from the busy, commercial world. This year I am surrounded by people, noisy and chatty. Each has its advantages.

Lst year, I chose silence because I had never done it. Many people are alone on Thanksgiving, afraid and hurt. If you are alone, here are some tips and links to make your solitude fill with gratitude.

jicama1. East something new. I made a simple salad of jicama (HICK-ih-mah) and mango preserved with chili, salt and sugar. Jicama is a vegetable that looks like a stone, needs to be peeled with a vegetable peeler, and is best eaten raw. It has a crisp texture and a just-sweet enough flavor to make it a salad ingredient. I purchased both the preserved mango and jicama in a Latino market. Dice both the jicama and preserved mango, dress with orange juice.

2. Burn incense or wear perfume. Your sense of smell is a powerful memory machine. Smelling something wonderful lifts your spirits and helps you remember today as special. Use incense that is wild-harvested, not sticks made of glue and sawdust. Two years ago, I was fond of  Miller-Harris’s Figue Amere, a gentle wind-swept scent of wild figs and Mediterranean herbs. A great place to explore scents is Lucky Scent.Miller-harris perfume

3. Online can be a a window to the outdoors. Check your clock, and if it’s daytime in Vancouver, you can watch the beluga whales. No matter what the time, you can watch live underwater activity in the Monterey Bay.

More interested in wolves? Watch for them (live camera in dens and in camps in New York) as they walk by the camera. (This one takes patience; you may have to wait for wolves, but the scenery without wolves is lovely as well.) The National Zoo in D.C. has a cam on the pandas. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, or check out the still camera pictures.

4. Want to get out of your head and think about the larger world? Peter Russell’s World Clock will tell you how many barrels of oil are being pumped out of the ground, how many people are being born and are dying, or watch the earth’s temperature rise.

–Quinn McDonald is a writer and certified creativity coach. (c) 2008 All rights reserved. Thanks to the magazine Spirituality and Health for some of the ideas and links. Miller-Harris image: http://www.Millerharris.com Jicama image: http://www.uga.edu