Simple Gifts: A Pandemic Thanksgiving


I don’t know about the rest of you, but for me, 2020 has been a crash course in learning how to “park my preciosity.” Before the pandemic struck, I had lists of “deeply important” projects and priorities. Most of those “deeply important” things were, in reality, pretty transitory, and they stopped mattering the moment the world shut down. Stuff got really real. It has stayed really real. And I like the “really real” so much that I don’t ever want to go back to a world where frothy trendiness replaces substance.  

Thanksgiving has traditionally been a day of gratitude and a celebration of abundance. But this year, when we’ve been stripped of so much, I find I’m celebrating the abundance of the true, the fundamental, and the enormous “little” things that I’ve taken for granted in more prosperous times. 2020 has made me a lot less spoiled, and that’s a good thing; it has also reminded me to pay attention to, and be grateful for, everything, no matter how humble.   

My family, friends, and my health top my list—a list made even more poignant because, as of this writing, we’re all still here, even the two elderly relatives who contracted and recovered from Covid-19.  

I’m grateful for material comforts: a warm home, comfortable clothing, and the beauty of my favorite things around me.  

I’m grateful for the technology that allows me to stay in touch with everyone and provides me with information and entertainment.  

I’m grateful for good food, great wine, and that I’m one of those weird people for whom cooking is an enjoyable hobby.  

I’m grateful for delivery services and online ordering. Seriously. Can you imagine going through 2020 without it? Neither can I. 

I’m grateful for televised sports. When the news is unrelentingly bleak, and politics bitter and shrill, I’ve been able to shut it all out by losing myself in a baseball or football game.

I’m grateful that I live in a place where I can walk every day—a place with enough natural beauty that I’m charmed by it every time I leave the house.  

I’m grateful for all my former yoga, meditation, and spiritual teachers—their wisdom has enriched my life every single day.

I’m grateful for music, for the ability to bring it to life every day when I sit down to play, and for the timeless solace offered by masterpieces from every era.  

From my (socially distanced) home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving.  May you find your own simple pleasures this holiday season. 


Susan Todd said…
This is beautiful, Rhonda. I am grateful to have met you, to have learned from you, and that you are still spreading joy and beauty in our world.
Rhonda Rizzo said…
Susan, thank YOU for your friendship and for how you exemplify joy--in teaching and in life. Happy Thanksgiving.