Gratitude and beauty are good for the soul

November in the United States is the traditional season to give thanks to our Creator for the many blessings we have received from him.

This year, in particular, there is reason to be grateful as communities around the world return to normal.

I spent two beautiful weeks in Italy last month. Museums are open everywhere in this cradle of Western civilization and the art is breathtaking. The Italians are smiling and so happy to welcome visitors to their beautiful country again. I had the opportunity to see many works by the famous Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Michelangelo was the Renaissance man par excellence. He was a painter, sculptor, poet, architect and more. He used all the faculties of his mind to bring beauty to the world.

His approach to sculpture was inspired. “I saw an angel in marble and I carved until I freed him,” he said.

Thinking about this, one could say that today’s artistic community — globally and locally — is the sister of this liberated angel. It is such a joy to see this angel of our best natures so vibrant after a two-year slumber.

Run to make a difference

Besides being grateful for the events that we can simply experience, there are events where our participation is leveraged for the greater good.

Events to feed neighbors in need will be held in Sacramento and Folsom on Thanksgiving morning. There is nothing quite like the joy one feels when participating in one of these events. Not only do neighbors facing hard times receive food and necessities, but calories are burned ahead of family feasts.

It’s hard not to smile when you see people wearing turkey hats (or costumes) on Thanksgiving morning. The positive waves are dizzying.

The Food Bank and Family Services of Sacramento hosts the annual Race to Feed the Hungry in East Sacramento. Nearly 30,000 people participate in this fun annual 5k/10k run/walk. It’s the biggest fun run/walk in the country. Visit for registration and more information.

The Folsom Turkey Trot welcomes some 4,000 participants and benefits the Twin Lakes Food Bank. Like its older cousin in Sacramento, participants receive a fun running t-shirt and the opportunity to make a difference. Visit for registration and route details.

Renewal of German heritage

The Sacramento Turn Verein brings its annual Christmas Market (Christkindlmarkt) back to the community, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 3. In many cities in Germany and Austria, the advent is usually ushered in with the opening of the city’s Christkindlmarkt. Usually held in the town square and pedestrian areas, the market combines outdoor dining, shopping, pageantry and tradition. Spectators welcome the Christkind, or Christ child, in the form of a golden-haired angel played by local youth.

The annual Sacramento Christkindlemarkt is held in the historic Turn Verein building on J Street in Sacramento. Highlights of this festive event include traditional German music, 28 stalls featuring local vendors, lebkuchen and magenbrot (traditional German Christmas treats), glühwein (mulled wine), daily appearances from St. Nicholas and Christkind German (Child Jesus) and the joy of the holidays. Many handicrafts are available. Visit to learn more.

Carpe Diem

“Renaissance” means “rebirth”. As our community wakes up, take advantage of the opportunities to experience something beautiful. Michelangelo himself believed that the artistic experience went beyond mere observation.

“Every beauty that is seen here by people of perception resembles more than anything else that heavenly source from which we all come,” Michelangelo said.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Submit your event for review in Susan’s column at [email protected].

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