During our reading session yesterday, M. stumbled across a word she didn’t know: plenty.
At first I tried synonyms to explain her new vocabulary word. Plenty is ample, abundant, bountiful. But none of those clicked.
Plenty can also be requisite, sufficient, satisfactory. No, she still wasn’t getting the message.
I tried again. “Hmm… basically, plenty is more than you need. It could be a lot more than you need, or just barely over the amount you need.”
M. tilted her head to the side, her big brown eyes thoughtful. Then she nodded and bent to write it in her ever-expanding vocabulary notebook.
When she looked up again, I asked, “How can you tell when you have more than you need?” Besides wanting to solidify the lesson and use the word “plenty” in a few sentences, I was genuinely curious as to her response. Keep in mind M. was born in a trailer park and has been raised in poverty. Even now, her family would be in trouble without food stamps and regular trips to the local food pantry.
Slowly a smile spread across her face, the smile that says that she thinks I’m joking or being silly. “You’re still alive!” she shouted out proudly, as though this were the winning answer to a game show question.
Kind of puts things into perspective; don’t you think?
Today is Thanksgiving Day in my country. It’s a time for us to pause and remember with gratitude the people in our lives and the simple and beautiful blessings we tend to take for granted every day. It’s a moment to revel in our plenty, whatever that is for each of us.
For all my American friends, I wish you a wonderful holiday, complete with laughter and joy and homemade pecan pie (because I’m not too fond of the pumpkin version) — and an extra special dose of tolerance for that one relative who just gets on your last nerve.
And for everyone, regardless of nationality, I wish you a heart that overflows with wonder and gratitude for the beauty around you, for the moments of peace you are privileged to experience, for all the love in your life… and for the very Earth that supports each footstep and every breath you take.
We are so very fortunate to be alive. It’s as simple as that.