26 November 2009

La Festa del Ringraziamento ("Thanksgiving")

Created by Pilgrims to celebrate a bountiful feast in the New World, Thanksgiving is an American holiday, not one celebrated by Italians.  But I'm in Italy!

My friend and housemate is house-sitting at an old villa in Chianti.  Mabel (see photo) and I joined her at the villa in the country on 33 acres of land. Mabel had a smile on her face the whole day running through the olive groves, chasing pheasant, bunnies, and a pregnant cat.  We enjoyed a non-traditional Thanksgiving meal including a risotto with carciofi tenero ("tender baby artichokes") and an Italian version of torta delle carote e cannella ("carrot cake").

The opportunity for friends and family to gather together round the table for a feast, sharing old stories, and laughing is why Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.  This year we were a small gathering celebrating in a new way.  The ingredients used, as tasty as they are, is secondary to the value of being with the people we care about the most. It's also a time to reflect, count our blessings, and give thanks for all that we have.

Traveling back to Florence on the bus, Mabel, who is not a lap dog, sat calmly and tenderly cradled in my lap and arms. Simple pleasure and gratitude.  Thank you!

-- Josslyn 'Giosalina'
Chianti, Italy

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post.

    I love the way you state things as paradoxes, as though they are axiomatic; for example, "This year we were a small gathering celebrating [an old holiday] in a new way."

    Your words help me to see and feel what you see and feel. The obvious truth is that, among the people who have adopted you,and and you them, you are home.

    These posts are why your readers return eagerly, if not greedily, to learn of your new adventures. The feelings you evoke are so powerful, we might as well be with you.