I find myself with so many things to be thankful for and wanted to share just a few of them: from the sublime to the ridiculous or at least from the amazing in a big way and the amazing in the little ways and everything in between. Before I go there, I want to acknowledge that not everyone has a good situation and we need to be mindful and as supportive as possible of their lack of family, lack of food and shelter and perhaps lack of health. Not everyone lives the Norman Rockwell vision. Share your privileges and good fortune where you can.
For me, I am grateful for the connections built during the last several months with my two oldest grandchildren: loving wonderful individuals who bring joy to my life.
And then there was Saturday, Nov. 17 a day I have been working on for almost 13 years a short amount of time compared with the 100 years of wait for others. I am talking about the Remembrance and Reflection event for Charles Allie Thompson, his descendants and our community as well as William Thompson and William Grayson, who were also, like Allie, victims of lynching in Culpeper.
It was a ceremony filled with love, respect, wonderful music and a crystal-clear dedication to Peace and Unity by all in attendance. The support for the planning was broad and the spectrum of those in attendance was astounding. It was truly a community “coming together” event. There were a couple of significant supporters who need to be recognized (as their names were not on the program): Mr. Hagazi Kebede and the Scrabble Foundation in Rappahannock. It was Mr. Kebede’s daughter, Laura who worked with me initially a year ago to launch this event on the 100th anniversary of Allie’s death. Laura lives in Memphis and was unable to be with us physically on Sat. though I know she was there in spirit. It I saw on the farm will take me quite some time to stop thinking about all the very special things that I witnessed that day and the encouragement I felt in my heart. For that, I am forever grateful.
And on the lighter side, while I was sharing breakfast with Professor Margaret Russell, the event’s guest speaker who flew in from California to be with us, she asked about the wild animals. Among other sightings, I told her we saw the occasional bear. I assured her that these were black bears and not aggressive like the brown bear. I then headed across the yard to pull some things together in preparation to take her back to the airport. Passing the windows looking out into the field in front of the house, what did I see? A young black bear loping down the field toward the pond. I could hardly believe my eyes and ran for the camera. I was fast but when I returned to the front porch, I could longer see him or her. Where did it go, should I run out to the fence for a better view? Of course, I should! When would I get another chance like this?
I reached the fence and to my amazement, there was the little bear in the middle of the pond swimming toward the other side or at least I think that was the plan. I waited for what seemed an eternity until the bear crawled out the bank and ran quickly on the journey to the next farm.
So much to be grateful for! Have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving.
Until next week, be well.