November might just be my favorite month of the year. Sandwiched between the sadness of summer’s end and the craze of December’s bustle, November invites a welcome change of pace and a conscious appreciation of earth’s seasonal rhythm. Bulky sweaters are out yet coats and gloves remain unrequired, hokey Halloween has passed but pumpkins (and the plethora of baked goods they inspire) are still considered seasonally acceptable, and the pages of my calendar are buzzing with the sweet approach of the real holiday season. What I’m referring to, of course, is the last Thursday of the month. Thanksgiving. Those who know me well know that I find Thanksgiving paramount to all other holidays- in my eyes no other celebratory event compares. And it’s only 10 days away. But who’s counting, right?
After the opening of Up Close On Hope, M and I had the most peaceful of Sundays, complete with noodles at DENDEN, a visit to the Providence Athenaeum (my first), and a stroll around the RISD Museum to finish the final few rooms we’d missed on our first go round. We discussed the difference between Udon and Buckwheat, delighted in the heady drunk of a slow walk down Benefit Street, and let our eyes fall wide over the ancient artwork wrapping the walls of PVD’s most prestigious gallery. We whispered with friends, surrounded by books, quintessential colonial New England architecture, and even a little FBP press. I dove into George Sand’s Intimate Journal and fell in love with one too many passages. Later we mused on the intention of baroque artists, the devastating failure of a blurry squirrel mirror and the absurd nonchalance with which we were able to experience all of these wonderments. Providence, you are so good.
Yes, I admit to loving Thanksgiving for its emphasis on family, food, and stretchy pants. But my penchant for a holiday based on giving thanks is rooted in just that: a heightened awareness of everything for which to be grateful in my life. I am so very thankful for the resilience of the magical city of lights in the wake of such tragedy, the physical and mental health of the people I love, and the culture-drenched city I come home to each night. At the conclusion of every weekend in November, I like to take inventory of the smaller things in life which garner my gratitude. Right now, those things include fuzzy turtlenecks, shared cinnamon buns, and curry-peppered popcorn pushed promptly passed my lips by the very best hands.