Giving Thanks in 2020

Thankful for these glorious blue peas with their cheerful flowers.

Thanksgiving is this week in the US and, while we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, I do always still pause and reflect on what I’m grateful for. This year, it feels doubly important to focus on the good things. 

So here are just a few of the things on my Thanksgiving list:

  • Top of the list this year has to be all the Kiwis who have responded with maturity and community spirit to the challenges thrust upon us this year. I am truly proud to be a New Zealander this year, and I’m thankful to be here, where our collective action has allowed us freedom and safety much of the world doesn’t have. 
  • Friends and colleagues who have encouraged those around them to approach Covid-19 as a challenge to develop creative ways to continue to pursue dreams, rather than as a disaster to be lamented.
  • I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m still incredibly thankful for our new house. It still often feels like I’m living in someone else’s home, but it is a joy to cook in the new kitchen and to live in a well-insulated building.
  • This time of year, while not exactly traditional harvest time, is rich in early summer fruits and vegetables. Though our new garden is quite young, and the soil is truly terrible, we’re still harvesting good food, and I’m thankful for what we are able to produce.
  • I’m especially thankful this year for my husband and children, who have approached all of this year’s many stressors with good humour, fortitude, and a willingness to pitch in and do what needs to be done.
  • I am more than usually grateful this year for technology which has made the pandemic far less isolating than it would otherwise have been.
  • As always, I’m thankful for the proximity of beach, river and mountain. This year, even more than other years, the natural world has been a solace, and I’m thankful to have relatively wild areas within walking distance.
  • The luxury of time. There’s no question that being in lockdown in a cold shed was awful. I look back on those months and wonder how we survived with our good humour intact. At the same time, having that intense time to spend with close family was something wonderful. We invented stupid games to pass the time and stay warm, we went on looooooong walks together, we sat and talked over the state of the world. I am grateful to have had that time.

There are dozens of other things I could put on my list—big things and little. It’s a year in which thankfulness has been a gift all of its own. I am thankful to be thankful for so much, in spite of the crazy year it’s been.

What are you thankful for?

Giving Thanks

Special thanks to plate tectonics for this…

Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.

We don’t even try to celebrate it here anymore, for obvious seasonal reasons.

Still, today, and every day, I am thankful for many things:

  • An incredible, supportive partner who has stuck with me for over 25 years.
  • Two really cool kids, and all the amazing teachers that have helped them grow
  • A home that feeds my soul and my family
  • The health to physically manage half an acre of food-producing garden
  • Lovely friends
  • Forty-seven years of rich experiences to give me ballast
  • A world of wonders to explore
  • My adopted country, where I have been so warmly welcomed
  • Sunshine
  • Rain
  • The opportunities life has presented me
  • The difficulties life has presented me
  • All the little things that make me smile–fresh basil, strawberries, hedgehogs, skinks, jumping spiders, lavender…

I could go on and on. Mostly, I am thankful to have the opportunity to take this ride on rollercoaster Earth.

Enjoy your day, enjoy your ride.