Counting your blessings today? I am. Here I am at Catalina Island with a turkey that did not receive a Presidential pardon. ( I’m the one with the beard. Disregard the title of the novel which has been renamed Almost Avalon and will be in print this spring.)
I was twenty one, living alone on my boat, and this photo was taken by a retired couple who came over from Marina Del Rey in their Grand Banks yacht to spend Thanksgiving in Cat Harbor. It was the first Thanksgiving I ever spent without family or friends, and had the potential for being a very lonely time. When the couple, who moored about thirty yards from me (I am seen here on the deck of my dive boat) saw that I was alone, they put together a plate of hot turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffings and trimmings and made the pilgrimage in a little row boat over to see me.
I showed them my pet lobster and they took the picture, later sending it to me from the mainland after they got it developed.
It was a stark and beautiful Thanksgiving. I had nothing, except for everything. I was as one with my loneliness, and when you are empty, the beauty of all that is natural can fill you. If you feel the world is empty, if you feel the sky is empty, simply hoist a sail and catch the invisible wind and it will fill you, and the sail, with beauty and power and direction, as it did for me that day. I was in awe of all that I had to be grateful for.
Today is not unlike that Thanksgiving, which was so powerful all other Thanksgiving days blurred into one and have no distinction. My vessel now is the loft that many of you helped to create. When I finish posting this, I intend to walk the four blocks to the beach, and look to the northwest, where I can see Catalina Island.
My spirit will hoist sail, and be filled by the blessings of this incredible year, when all of you came into my life, told your stories, shared them with others and we became a tribe.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all