Posts Tagged 'Thanksgiving'

Thanksgiving Love and Tears

A recent fall walk through the Jardin des Plantes.

A recent fall walk through the Jardin des Plantes.

Since living in France, Thanksgiving has always been an improvised affair. Some years I’ve gathered in the apartments of friends who are much braver than me – they hunt down the obscure cranberry, shove large turkeys into tiny Parisian ovens, spend small fortunes on the fixins’, many of which are foreign foods here.

I’ve been to lively potluck parties and more intimate dinners, and sometimes, not even celebrated at all. It is just another Thursday in L’Hexagone.

The past few years, Thanksgiving has unwittingly become an unofficial marker of my relationship, too, though my beau probably knows I think this only now that I write it. A couple years ago, we had only just started seeing each other, so new it was that when people at that Thanksgiving referred to him as my boyfriend, he gently corrected them (but since there’s no French word for dating, I’m not sure what term we were then. Just curious about the other, I guess).les jardins des plantes, close-up

Last year, I was with my family, a rare occasion, and I was grateful to have the time with them. Just before the holiday, though, I got to experience that special bittersweet twinge unique to romantic partings. When I left Paris, it wasn’t just to return home for the long weekend, but to go to a long writing residency at the Kerouac House; my beau and I were saying goodbye for 3 months. I was moved to feel how greatly we’d both miss each other.

Continue reading ‘Thanksgiving Love and Tears’

Gratitude List and the Giving of Thanks

Hot on the heels of Halloween is another holiday American expats have to improvise over here. I like this celebrating of traditions in new ways.

I’ll be heading to a Thanksgiving “apero” on Friday (hey, it’s a cultural melange!), but in the meantime, here is an abbreviated gratitude list. I’ve been incorporating this practice of recognizing life’s bounty into my regular routine anyway; the holiday is just a more formalized chance to say thanks!

I’m thankful that my close friend came through his heart procedure successfully today. I’m thankful for my own open heart.

I’m thankful I can sit with uncertainty, though it can feel scary and hard.

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do,” artist Georgia O’Keeffe once said.

I’m thankful for inspiring quotes. Inspring stories. Inspiring people and lives.

I’m thankful for the proverbs on each sachet of Yogi tea.

I’m thankful for silly status updates from friends far and wide – though I really shouldn’t spend quite so much time online.

Continue reading ‘Gratitude List and the Giving of Thanks’

Happy Thanksgiving!

As we speak, this wonderful, witty woman is making + baking a Thanksgiving feast.

Good times at my birthday

(To avoid confusion, I’m referring to the woman who is not me in the picture, of course. You know by now, yes? I don’t cook or bake. I am very thankful others do!)

Molly is my fabulous American friend who is hosting Thanksgiving dinner tonight with her French partner. I think it will mainly be French people, which is why the feast doesn’t begin until 8 PM. (Don’t they know you’re supposed to eat and drink all day?! Well, it is just a regular Thursday here, I suppose.)

No matter, this allows me more time to reflect on what I am thankful for.

Continue reading ‘Happy Thanksgiving!’

Happy Thanksgiving

Last year on Thanksgiving Day, I was flying over the Atlantic, worried, scared. My mother had just been diagnosed with breast cancer and I was coming back to be with her through surgery and recovery. So much unknown. It’s times such as those that the reality of living so far away hits home.

This Thanksgiving, I sit calmly in Paris where a strange sun is breaking through the gray clouds, a sky that might even promise snow. I am thinking about all that I have to be grateful for, how light can pierce through what at first looks bleak.

I am happy to report that my mom is doing great; breast cancer is something we can beat. I am also grateful that despite the distance, the ocean cannot break the most important of bonds. In fact, I think being an expat makes me think even more about gratitude, how much I have to be thankful for in my life. Sometimes, at a remove, we can see how precious everything is; stand back and we see things shine.

This past year has been quite challenging, on many different levels. There have been times that I felt my light burning low. But it is also through struggle that I become so intensely aware of the many gifts that surround me. Daily miracles. I am one of the luckiest people on earth. I know what love means.

I have family, friends, my health, my imagination, my dreams, a beautiful city, new possibilities, opportunities – and a voice inside me that tells me to leap at them with everything I have.

I am also grateful for your readership and comments. Thank you. I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with joy.


paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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