Giving thanks

It is our Thanksgiving today, and whether it be today or sometime during this last weekend, Canadian families across the country are gathering around tables laden with goodness. Many families, like mine, engage in one of the few remaining somber traditions, going around the table to give thanks for each of our unique blessings.

I revel in the diversity of these little speeches of thanks. They are humbling and inspiring and remind me of how much there is to say thanks for. In the spirit of that diversity (and recalling my very young niece’s sincere thanks for cheese) I would like to set out my own, somewhat ecclectic list, mindful of the bounty of this country, and of my own little corner of it.

I too am thankful for cheese. And really good bread. And a really nice wine to go with both. Food is a necessity yes, but how luxurious that it is also a pleasure.

Living in Vancouver, I really, truly appreciate my navy blue rain boots. I love the feeling of being able to walk my large dog (for whom I am also so thankful) through deep puddles without getting wet or muddy, feeling the power and joy of being 6 and in a deep puddle, getting ready to jump.

I am endlessly grateful for the chance to meet people, and talk with them, and hear behind what they say to what they really mean. I am grateful for the ability to work, and the freedom to enjoy time off. And trees, and the colour of the sky at around 6:15 in early October. I am grateful for the ability to achieve calm, and to share excitement. My list is endless. I haven’t even scratched the surface, and the truly epic blessings in my life remain conspicuously absent.

Why make such a list? Why publish it? For me, it is a reminder that the things that go wrong, the people who disappoint,┬áthe decisions that backfire, the deals that go sour, are minor (even if they’re not). In perspective, they do not govern. Trite as it is, if we can remind ourselves regularly about the things that matter, those things for which we are truly grateful, the other stuff falls away. And curiously, focusing on the important stuff gives us the perspective to settle that other stuff with greater ease, less angst, and yes, even gratitude.

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on October 11th, 2011 by Renee