At 7am Thanksgiving morning, a couple thousand of us start running around Dana Point Harbor, beside a stretch of Doheny Beach, and across a bridge leading to the open ocean and breakwater. We’re strangers and friends participating in the annual Turkey Trot to raise money for America’s Second Harvest.
I think it also raises spirits. Sure there are the lean-bodied athletes who sprint the 6.2km to win honors. But many are young, old, pudgy, knock-kneed, tattooed and pierced. We’re weekend warriors and regular gym goers. We wear silly hats and carry cowbells, wear diamond rings and arms bands. We have new running shorts and tattered shoes. We push babies and wheelchairs. For some, our wrinkles jiggle and for others—there’s no motion on a surgically enhanced surface.
Who cares! We’re all the same today: grateful to be able to move at any pace and in any space; grateful to have the freedom to choose to participate or watch; grateful that we can celebrate together in a communal act of giving.
Can you dig it? I sure can. I can’t help but think of my twin brother who at this very same time, is participating as a counselor and minister at a men’s prison outside Boston. He said their singing of Amazing Grace would move you to tears. John says they’ve discovered a depth of acceptance and forgiveness for which they are so grateful. And in that, they are “free”. For what are you grateful? What sets you free?