On this day, when reflections on thankfulness seem to be required, let’s look in another place.

Thankfulness is a look back—sometimes from the vantage of a split second, but always a look at what is past. Hopefulness is something else again.

Hopefulness is thankfulness faced in the other direction. The attempt to peer into the unknowns ahead. A faith in the good that might come, despite the scratchings of fear, or the voice of the inner cynic who tries to tell you that all will not be well.

And here’s the thing: We can be thankful without being hopeful. But we can’t be hopeful without being thankful. That’s part of the beauty of it: the acknowledgement of all there was that brought us to all there is.

Today, I am thankful for the extraordinary things of my life; for the friends who animate my soul. Grateful for this quiet house, for the cats who are delighted to see me home, for the ticking of the hall clock, for the beautiful organic chicken defrosting in its sink water-bath, for a good stock of lovely wine. Hopeful for the contentment of those friends…and for the stirrings of the day’s desire to write, even though I haven’t answered the questions the story is asking.

I am home, after a lovely job interview with some wonderful folks. I am home, thankful for the simple things I have…and hopeful that I can know what I want.

I am home. The place where thankful/hopeful lives.