Nation, it's at this time of year, and on this day especially, where the mind turns to those things for which we're most thankful.
I want to take a moment to tell you all some of the things that The Enlightened Savage is thankful for at the moment.
Firstly, and most importantly, I'm thankful for my blushing bride. 8 days ago, she said "I Do" in a room full of our family and friends - and we've enjoyed 8 whole days of wedded bliss since. I'm looking forward to no less than 29,000 more such days - be warned, Mrs. Savage! :)
Which brings me to family... I remain in awe of the family I've got, and am very blessed by the family I've gained over the past year. With both myself and BOES (Brother Of Enlightened Savage) getting married this year, I've suddenly found myself with 2 sisters and 4 new parents... and they're all fantastic. I couldn't be happier. Our dog has even stopped going #2 in my office. :)
I'm thankful, as always, that I am one of the blessed few who get to call this beautiful country of Canada my home. I've travelled the world, and there's nowhere I'd rather call my home and native land. This nation, for all its imperfections and flaws, is a beacon to the world of what a pluralistic and democratic nation can and should be - and while we are far from perfect ourselves, we should never hesitate to take pride in this place and in its people. No matter which party sits in government, or what scandal or policy is causing people to wrinkle their noses at the headlines, this is a beautiful place filled overwhelmingly with good, decent and hard-working people - and I am thankful to call myself Canadian.
None of that would be possible, however, without the sacrifices of our men and women in the Canadian Armed Forces - and I am thankful for them. They are the best among us - the bravest, and the most worthy to live under our flag. When they suffer, we all suffer. When they triumph, we all triumph. They risk everything they have to bring light to the darkest corners of the world, to free the opressed from the tyranny of dictators and poverty... none of what I have would be possible without them, and there will be an empty seat at my table today in their honour.
There are a great many other things I am thankful for, Nation, and to write them all would be ridiculous... but the last one I want to write about is you. You, right there, reading this. I am thankful for you. I'm not going to call you a "reader", because that doesn't do you justice. You might be a frequent commenter - an active participant in the conversation. You might be a blogger yourself. Or a member of the media. I am thankful for you, because you give these words meaning by taking the time to read them. Taking the time to comment of them, or even to think about them for a while. You are the reason I do this... and I love what I do. When I "came out" awhile ago, you rallied behind me, and you kept coming back. When I went off on my little rants, you agreed or disagreed, but you always kept it civil with me, and with each other. When I wrote something you found interesting, you called and booked me onto you bosses radio show, or asked me to come in and participate in a blogging round-table. You might support the Alberta Liberals, or the Wildrose Alliance, or the NDP, or the Progressive Conservatives (I hear there are a few left who haven't crossed the floor yet), but you come here and you contribute to the discussion we're having in a meaningful way. You take what you read here and send it to a friend on Twitter, or via e-mail, or on Facebook... you talk about it at the dinner table, or at the water cooler. Even if your final conclusion is that I'm full of unmitigated crap - you seek out these writings, and the comments that accompany them, and by your participation in the greater dialogue you work towards making this Calgary, this Alberta, this Canada, this world, a better place. I'm thankful that you take the time. Future generations will be, as well.
See you Tuesday.