We all saw them this week- at least the lucky ones among us who got up or out into the world in time. The sunrises and the sunsets were beautiful in a way that only they can be. How many of each we get is not of our choosing. Of course, we can all make health choices to hedge our bets, but when that bell tolls, it is over, and there is no coming back. On that, we can all be very sure. You may live to see 100 or be hit by an oncoming car at 25- anything is possible, and so it goes with life. But just as that sun rises and sets, so shall we. It is the beauty and light we bring into the world by which we will be judged and remembered.
Thanksgiving is a very American day. As children, we were taught the false narrative that the Pilgrims and Native Americans peacefully celebrated the harvest festival together. Some still believe that hogwash, but they are few in number. Many people celebrate this day in various ways. Since it falls on a Thursday, it provides a four-day break, making it one of our favorite times of the year. The food, the football, the refreshments, and the time for respite are all important and add up to one of the significant events of our collective calendar. In Hillsboro, Oregon, people of all creeds, colors, and religious beliefs will enjoy it in numerous ways. It is a time of celebration, and it is my truest wish to you all reading these few words that you make the most of it.
I am coming off a binge-watch of the Netflix mini-series All The Light We Cannot See, based on a 2014 WW II novel by author Anthony Doerr. Let me say this is a spectacular piece of writing and filmmaking. Perhaps this is the best cinematic work for TV for a long time. I will not go into the storyline, but thematically, it deals with light and what forms it comes in. For me, this was about the light we have as humans, how it can be used, and what its reach can be. In the storyline, individuals exert their independent force, both seen and unseen, to change the world. The things they do, the light they shine that no one can see, make this storyline one of the greatest ever told when viewed through the right lens.
Light and the act of providing lightness, both seen and unseen, is something I aspire to do. Those who read my work realize that some serious tones sometimes come through. We must fight to retain what we have despite seeing it slip away. What we have here in Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley is truly beautiful and very much based on light in the physical world. Those Mountains and hills around us frame the valley and reflect the incomparable colors that rise from the earth. Fighting for things and resisting forces that we inherently know are bad is one way to provide light into the world, and that sort of light comes in many forms.
Let me thank all of you, for whom I am very grateful. Thanksgiving should be that day for us all, not some distant memory full of mistruths. Gratitude, thankfulness, creating light, doing the work, and completing small deeds to help one person at a time are the things that change the world. Using your words, showing up for people, standing up for what is right, fighting back against a bully, feeding the hungry, writing and praying, and doing good work- all forms of light that improve the world.
I want you all to know I see you and am always here for you. Light is all around us. The best of it is shining where we can not see it- and much of it is coming from many of you. Please always keep it shining, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving break.