It is the night before Thanksgiving, and I am reading my journal from 1978. I wanted to see if I had written anything about a memory I have from Thanksgiving night, November 23rd, 1978, on the island of Corfu, Greece.
There were no notes about Thanksgiving. My only notes from that day are:
Morning – parked on a rock overlooking the Agean [sic] Sea, on the island of Corfu.
So glad to be alive!
Kathi trimmed my hair with her Swiss Army Knife scissors.
I didn’t write about the American Thanksgiving holiday, Thursday, November 23rd, 1978, in my journal. And, I didn’t know it was an American holiday when I woke up that day in Greece. But the memory from that evening, is fresh like the piece of toast you just buttered. The memory as clear as the butter melting in front of you.
The memory of listening to a group of American’s on the island of Corfu, Greece, laughing loudly, and celebrating Thanksgiving together, is so strong. If I close my eyes I am there again.
It is dark— dark like when you close your eyes and the inside of your eyelids are black with the glow from the last light you saw.
It is late — late like when you know it’s past your bedtime, and one day blends into the next, and it could be today or tomorrow. And, in the middle of the blackness, you see a light from a fire, and hear laughter.
And, you wish you were American so you could sit by the fire with the group of people celebrating. Like an exclusive club of nationality, The Thanksgiving American Club, away from home, celebrating a holiday together.
It is lonely. A Canadian in Greece, away from family, traveling with a friend, feeling isolated and alone, and feeling the deep warmth of the American’s joy as they celebrated Thanksgiving.
Feeling the warmth from the outside looking in, from cold to warmth, excluded as a Canadian, and envious of the holiday they shared.
Now I live in America. I have lived here for twenty-five years, celebrating Thanksgiving each year with family and friends.
And, every once in a while over the last thirty-seven years, I remember the night in Corfu. The night I wanted to celebrate a Thanksgiving with Americans.
And tomorrow I will.
Happy Thanksgiving. May your table be crowded with elbows and love.
And to the friends I spent November, 23rd, 1978, with, I wish you well. Ellen, Maureen, Mary Kay, Phyllis, Flick, Cate, Rebecca and Kathi. Some of them wrote their full names and addresses in my diary. I wonder if I can find them thirty-seven years after we met on the island of Corfu.
As always I love to hear from you.
Will you share a Thanksgiving memory? And if you live in another country, please share what you are thankful for.
And me? I am thankful for you.
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