Enough of soul-crushing news! Thursday is Thanksgiving, and I have a lot to be thankful for. I write from Sedona, AZ. Before eating too much turkey later today, I revel in a spicy meatball sandwich while sitting under a Chihuly glass installation. Life can’t get much better. I have no need to wander among the Red Rocks in search of a Vortex.
The landscape is enough for me. I’ll go for a walk and give thanks for the sights before my eyes and under my feet. In terms of Thanksgiving, I treasure supportive friends and family, the natural world and the creative process – all of which lift me up out of the muck.
Today, as I turned November’s page to look ahead to December, I saw that on December first, I had penciled in a Chuck Pyle performance at the Book Haven in Salida. I had planned to go… to maybe sleep over at the historic Palace Hotel.
Singer, songwriter, humorist, and folksy guy-next-door, Chuck Pyle always spoke to me with his lyrics and his warmth. His accessibility was always a plus. And so it came as a shock earlier this month when after driving up the Hardscrabble and singling along with a Chuck Pyle CD, that I arrived home to hear that Chuck had just died. The date was November sixth.
My initial reaction was, “But he couldn’t have… we were just talking!” Well we weren’t “talking,” but listening to Chuck’s lyrics and delivery was never a one-way street experience. A Chuck Pyle performance was full of give-and-take. Chuck gave; I took; and the audience always gave back. I always left feeling full.
Given that it is Thanksgiving, a day of thanks and fullness, I’m recommending one of my favorite Chuck Pyle songs: “Step by Step.” Not that I don’t have other favorites, but how can we dismiss Chuck’s suggestion to “Take a little step with your neighbor side-by-side”?
Surely, we should smile today. We have so much to be thankful for. To up the chances of your smiling, I am pasting in the link to a YouTube video of Chuck singing “Chickadee.” It is not the greatest song ever, but looking at the full-fat berries on the juniper trees, it seems that the music, the chickadees and the plump blueberries come full circle.
Happy Thanksgiving. May your life be full of music and chickadees.