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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

 

My Favorite Holiday

*
Thanksgiving * The Political Scene * Wilderness


Just over a week away from Thanksgiving,  a post by Scott F. Aikin and Robert B. Talisse in 3quarksdaily  caught my attention.

Unlike Halloween, Thanksgiving is a holiday of human significance.  Though it is occasioned by the mythology of Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians, the point of Thanksgiving is not that of rehearsing or commemorating that original event.  In this respect, Thanksgiving differs crucially from other holidays.  The Thanksgiving gathering is not a means to some other end, such as memorializing the signing of a document (July 4th), observing an ancient liberation (Passover), celebrating the birth of a god (Christmas), or honoring the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers in war (Veterans Day).  The point of Thanksgiving is rather to gather with loved ones, to reaffirm social bonds, to enjoy company, and to appreciate the goods one has.  To be sure, the Thanksgiving celebration is focused on a meal, typically involving large portions of turkey and cranberries.  Still, the details of the meal are ultimately incidental.  The aim of the Thanksgiving gathering is not to eat, but to be a gathering.  The coming of people together is the point-- and the whole point-- of Thanksgiving.

 Yes, an unequivocal "Yes".


Return of the Darksiders

They are back. The Bible thumping hypocrites have returned with a bang to take care of their friends in Wall Street and elsewhere.  To be fair,  the last two years have proven that Democratic legislators,too, are in the pockets of lobbyists.  It is a matter of degree. Venality is common among politicians of all parties.   They are creatures of the system.  Still, the fact that Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina failed to win means that Republicans have yet to dominate California.  Certainly reason to rejoice in an otherwise bleak political landscape.

Wilderness

By this time last year, wild mushrooms were emerging everywhere -- the good and the bad (unedible) kinds.  So far, I have not come across any worth picking.  We need rain. There is forecast for rain during the weekend (November 20th/21st).  If we get some heavy rains then chanterelles might begin to appear in December.  In the meantime, walks through the woods are always enjoyable. And we are fortunate to have access to many preserves with miles of trails.

Deer grazing at Montebello
 
© Musafir
Downhill rider on Canyon Trail, Montebello
© Musafir

Madrone tree at Wunderlich Park, Woodside
© Musafir
Gorgeous Red Maple near Arstradero Preserve
© Musafir
Contrail over eastern sky at sunrise, Nov 16, 2010
© Musafir

***
The Strong Western Trails
Where Wind Blows Through Empty Limbs
Of Trees Have Tall Tales

---From http://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/429464-Haiku-In-The-Wilderness 
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