It’s Thanksgiving, possibly the most beautiful day of the year over on social media, newsfeeds flooded with outpourings of gratitude, something I generally do a pretty good job living by, but that didn’t feel close at hand this morning. So what do you do when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed (which might actually be a floor, because the bed wasn’t working for you AT ALL), underslept, with an achy back?  You dig for it. I didn’t have to dig very deep this morning to find what I’m thankful for.

I am spending the holiday with in-laws all the way in Utah, far from my home in Brooklyn, and farther still from my home home in New England, where my mother is probably stirring up her famous mushroom gravy right this minute. We’ve been bouncing around from hotel to house to house, and my back hurts from various awkward sleep situations and general fatigue. I woke up tired and crabby this morning, back jacked (not the technical term), missing my mom, my brother, hot yoga, massage, not sure quite what to do about any of it, so I did the simplest thing I could: I stretched my achy muscles, pressed fingertips into the superior angle of my left scapula where the levator scap gets gnarliest, rested forehead against floor in child’s pose, arms reaching forward, settled. As muscles regained some semblance of length, my perspective shifted. How wonderful to have mixed holidays, people to miss in other states and countries. How sweet to have multiple places to sleep, homes to go to, solid walls and a functional kitchen (very much on my mind in the wake of the recent hurricane, having spent a little time walking around the Rockaways with local kids last week looking for a big building to host a community meal). How blessed to have senses, muscles that can stretch their way into relief, joints that hinge the way they’re supposed to, breath to return to like I would in yoga class if I could make it today.

This Thanksgiving, it turns out, I am a very grateful lady indeed.

Grateful for a day of thanks.

Grateful for in-laws that don’t care where or when I nap and who heartily encourage me to do so, deeply grateful for the big, warm family that I have married into.

Grateful for a momma who wants me by her side whenever she cooks a holiday meal.

Grateful for a father who walks in Plymouth to remember where this day came from.

Grateful for meals and traditions I’m missing today but carry with me far away.

Grateful for a yoga practice to return to when I’m ready, the knowledge it’s there if I need it. Grateful for movement and breath in the meantime, for the knowledge of muscles that help me work out the places that are stuck and coax my mood out of grumpiness as I rub away what hurts.

I wish you much reflection and abundance today, easy breath and gratitude. To those who find it harder to come by, I offer the advice of releasing physical aches and pains to create more space for gratitude to grow, and I give you this sweet post from Dara at Sacred last year, on gratitude as a path out of what ails you.

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