Gratitude comes easy to me. And I’m not sure if this is deep-rooted in the makeup of my mind, or if it is the result of a lifetime of practice. I suspect it’s a bit of both.
Growing up, my parents made a very conscious effort to ensure that my sister and I learned to appreciate everything we had including the privilege of simply being alive. As a single Mom working two jobs, quality time with my mother was hard to come by. But building a strong Mother/Daughter bond was just as high on her list of priorities as providing for her children. I have very fond memories of our ‘Mother Daughter’ days, where we would skip school and spend the day with mom. These days weren’t meant to take away from the importance of education, but to teach the value of building strong relationships. I AM forever grateful for this lesson & for the fierce and unbreakable bond, I share with my Mom. And I AM happy to report, that I have carried on this tradition with my daughter.
Thiessens Apple Orchard, Leamington
My Dad would take us on nature walks every single weekend. Even when my sister and I were reluctant teenagers, he made this a priority. On these walks, amongst the regular chit chat, he would draw our attention to the squirrels frolicking in the branches, or the dance of a perfect leaf in the wind. We were quizzed on which trees were coniferous and which were deciduous. He would often stop and have us take a minute to breathe deeply. I didn’t grasp the magnitude of these practices then, but I can honestly tell you, they have shaped my outlook on life. From a young age, he had us mastering the art of being present. Which didn’t seem all that important to me at the time, but growing up encompassed in technology and a world full of tempting distractions, this appreciation he instilled in me has shaped who I am.
Camp Cedarwin, Essex
I AM forever grateful for the valuable life lessons my parents imparted to me. Life can get sticky, and it is often easier to let tragedy or injustice consume us than to choose to look on the bright side. This year has been one of the roughest experienced yet for my family, and I’m sure many others have struggled as well. A great deal of us have been living in fear and felt alone, even at the best of times. Add loss, trauma or financial burden to that equation and the toll is heavy. More than ever, the practice of gratitude can have an insurmountable impact on our lives. My family lost our matriarch recently. My incredibly kind-hearted and bubbly mother-in-law is no longer with us. At least not in human form. I find comfort looking at the clouds and the stars and in watching branches sway in the wind. I thank my father for that. I have the BEST memories to look back on. We shared a strong bond. And I thank my mother for that. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, regardless of circumstance, there is always something to be thankful for.
I AM thankful for my location on this Earth. To be born into a country of freedom. To live nestled between the vast waters of the great lakes and the fields and greenhouses where the harvest is plentiful.
I AM thankful for my family. I would not know how deep love can be felt without them.
I AM thankful for my friends. My chosen family. I don’t think I could do life without them by my side.
The Grove BikeCo, Kingsville
I AM thankful that my husband and I both work for incredible people. We always feel supported & appreciated. To be able to make a living and thrive in a happy workplace is such a blessing.
I AM thankful to be alive & to have good health. The privilege to wander this Earth is not something that I will ever take for granted.
However you plan to spend this Thanksgiving weekend, my hope is that you take some time to reflect and count your blessings. Whether you can count them on one hand or by the dozen, life is simply better when you recognize the good.
Happy Thanksgiving! 💛