This post is part of the Green Moms Carnival. The Green Moms Carnival is a group of truly wonderful women – passionate, opinionated, thoughtful, intelligent – looking to change the world, or at least a little part of it, for the better. Every month, we pick a topic and blog about it. November’s theme is gratitude and 3 favorite green things. Karen at Best of Mother Earth is the host this month -I urge you to head over to her summary post rounding up this month’s posts.
Every month I have been giddy and excited to address the topic. Last month’s greening the holidays? I think I wrote it in 5 minutes flat I was so excited. (If you are inclined, check out October’s roundup.) But this time, it had been difficult. Painful. Not because I am not grateful – but because I am grateful for so much, and have had a difficult time expressing it in a meaningful way. I’m grateful for everything from the typical stuff – grateful for my husband, 2 healthy kids, a family that is only slightly dysfunctional, and the slightly less typical – the hope present in this month’s election, the sense that the green movement is moving mainstream – to just being alive, the glory of the sun, the sound of an owl hooting.
But I haven’t been able to express my thoughts. And I really haven’t had the necessary silence to be reflective. We’re in full swing of the hustle, bustle holidays. 2 kids, 2 different schools, 2 harvest festivals, 2 Halloween parades, costumes, prepping for Thanksgiving with 45, Xmas shopping, etc. Plus work has been crazy. Finding the silence to reflect is always difficult.
But this morning, as I finally got a little time to myself, and listened to the rain pitter patter in the early morning (as my husband dealt with burying the 2 fish from the Harvest festival that passed away in the middle of the night as the children cried their broken hearts), I decided that I had procrastinated enough and needed to get this post done. And it finally hit me – what I was feeling most grateful about this month. I am grateful for the community of women and the traditions we pass along and share.
I feel extremely grateful and lucky for the traditions handed down, mother to daughter. As I look forward to celebrating the holidays with my daughter, and my mom and my grandma (who celebrated her 90th birthday this year), it is the traditions that we have shared – the recipes for cooking, for cleaning, and for crafts and decor – that are the most meaningful. I couldn’t make the traditional clam chowder for Christmas Eve without my mom’s recipe. My son and daughter couldn’t make the popcorn balls without my grandma’s recipe. I share with my children (my son too) the tradition of making dried apple shrunken heads for Halloween, corn bread stuffing for Thanksgiving, gingerbread houses and paper Xmas tree garlands and hope that they too will treasure the memories and pass them along.
Our family traditions are slightly twisted. My grandmother converted to Judaism when she married my grandfather just before WWII. My mom married a Christian, so we celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas. Christmas Eve meant a party with everybody who didn’t have a place to go – our Jewish friends and my dad’s elderly clients without family nearby. That is my favorite tradition handed down – inviting everybody to share the bounty of the holidays. So, we open our doors at Thanksgiving – anybody and everybody is welcome at our house.
And that welcoming (and sense of coming home) is how I feel about the other members of the Green Moms Carnival. To the other founders of the Green Moms Carnival, I am extremely grateful to have met you, whether in person or online only. I feel such a deep connection to each of you – a kindred of spirit and sense of purpose. I marvel at the sense of community we have as we try to green the world. I imagine our hands stretching across the world, just as I imagine the hands of mothers and daughters stretching across time.
I feel extremely grateful for the traditions shared – woman to woman – with old friends and new. As we debate the merits of recycled plastic garbage bags versus reusing paper versus skipping bags, I smile because it seems like only between us does every contemplated purchase, every action, have such significance. Jess’ (now at the new Green Phone Booth) vinyl wall decals versus painting. Anna’s (of Green Talk) concern over recycled rubber. Beth’s (of Fake Plastic Fish) stance against creating markets for recycled plastic instead of just avoiding it in the first place. I treasure the tips on cleaning methods, successful composting, crafty solutions. You are my favorite green thing!
Next month’s Green Moms Carnival is hosted by Diane of Green Big Purse.