Thanksgiving is a harvest holiday and those are always the best. Traditionally, grain bins and smokehouses are full, the weather is not yet forbidding, and memories of summer are still fresh; indeed my tan hasn't fully faded. After Thanksgiving come the Winter Solstice holidays: Christmas, New Years, Hanukah, and Kwanza, and they'll be observed around fireplaces and with candles and colored lights. But today, it is the autumn leaves that blaze.
It is my custom at this time of year to reflect with gratitude upon my life, my family, my friends, and upon the state of the world. In this space, I've written before that I find hope in the fact that our dire economic straits are distributional and not born of famine, disease, pestilence, or want. We have food, energy, products, markets, and capital. We just need to learn to manage them better.
In the Bible, the first commandment given by God after finishing His creation is: "Be fruitful and multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it." Thanksgiving should make us ponder how well or ill we are carrying out our charge.
Autumn Hills & My Studio by Robert Vonnoh (1858-1933). I don't know much about the artist other than that he was an avid student of French Impressionism, a beloved teacher in the US, and said to be of a gentle and melancholy disposition--a man who liked nothing more than to set up his easel in the open air. In short, a man of autumnal temperament. Click on the picture for a closer look.