Thanksgiving

This past weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada, and I’m feeling grateful for just about everything.

Monday morning left me breathless with sheer wonder. After a few days of rain, the sky had cleared overnight and the temperature dropped to about 4°C. The rooftops sparkled with the kind of frost that is beautiful without doing any damage. The sun rose golden in an intense blue sky, and the air was an intoxicating cocktail of moist cedar and distant ocean.

While I sat wrapped in my warm blanket drinking my tea, I was treated to a symphony of birdsong; not the unrestrained chorus of spring, but the sweet and wistful melodies of fall.

Robins chirped and chuckled in the trees, gorging themselves on the last few berries. A finch sang a clear, note-perfect solo. Dozens of juncoes foraged busily on the ground only a few feet away, their tiny ‘chip’ noises interrupted only by the whir of their wings as they took flight to ride the crystal air like feathered rollercoasters. A Steller’s jay took proud ownership of the last few sunflower heads of the season, iridescent blue plumage glowing and crest saucily cocked.

As the sun rose higher, the rough armourplates of Douglas-fir bark transformed into a stunning study of warm light and deepest shadow. The melting frost trimmed every leaf with diamonds. The creek rushed in the background — not yet winter’s torrent, but singing again after its summer silence. The asters and chrysanthemums and rudbeckia glowed bright in the vivid green of the rhododendron garden.

And I sat in this beautiful place, marvelling; and comforted beyond measure.

These patient trees will stand for many of my lifetimes. These mountains were here millennia before me, and will remain for millennia after I’m gone. Compared to their ancient presence, my life is a tiny speck of existence, forgotten in an eyeblink. Nature endures, not only beyond human endurance, but beyond human comprehension. And for that, I am thankful.

I’m thankful to live in a safe home, in a safe country where I have clean air, clean water, abundant food, and health care.

I’m thankful for my husband. He is my rock, the man I can always count on to listen to me, laugh with me, and love me.

I’m thankful for family and friends who, whether we live provinces away or close together but separated by COVID restrictions, are nonetheless only a phone call away.

I’m thankful to be doing a career I love.

And I’m thankful for you, my wonderful readers — you make all my hours of work worthwhile.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Book 16 update: I’m on Chapter 21, nearly halfway done the book! There’s a killer in Silverside, and Blue Eddy has been hiding a murderous past…

55 Comments

Filed under Commentary, Life

55 responses to “Thanksgiving

  1. You draw such beautiful pictures in words. I love your serious writing. We have many things to be thankful for. Tanya and I had our own Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday. On Monday our German Shepherd was very ill and scared us to death. We took him to the vet and by Tuesday morning he was his old self. We were thankful for that too.
    God(ess) bless you

    Like

  2. Dallas D

    A lovely read, though I’m late for your Thanksgiving and too early for ours in the states.
    I believe we may not be gathering for Thanksgiving or Christmas here which makes me so very sad. Lucky I have birds in the yard as you do and the park beyond to lighten the mood.

    Like

    • Yes, if we can’t be with our family in person, it’s a comfort to be able to enjoy our feathered friends. It’s sad to think that Christmas will be a virtual affair this year, but I’m hoping for next year. When we are finally able to get together safely again, it will be precious indeed!

      Like

  3. Judy

    I have a granddaughter who just turned one. I am thankful her mother is a picture posting facebook user or I would have TOTALLY missed her first year “firsts”.

    Like

    • Thank goodness for internet connections! There are so many changes in that first year — I can only imagine how sad it would be to completely miss them. Congratulations on being a grandma! 🙂

      Like

  4. Jo-Ann Shaw

    That was lovely, Diane. It’s good to be grateful every day so having it pointed out once a year is a good reminder. This year has been a challenging one to be sure. But as they say, “this too shall pass”. Let’s hope it does soon.

    Like

    • Yes, I think we’re all more than ready to get back to “normal”. But I guess the only thing that’s truly normal is change, so I’m trying to remind myself to accept that instead of fighting it kicking and screaming. Change is going to happen anyway, and my only choice is whether to make myself miserable over it, or not.

      But it turns out I’m better at saying that than living it… 😉 *breathes deeply*

      Like

  5. Thank you for a lovely post, exactly what we can use right now.

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  6. Such a beautiful peice of writing Diane. I think as the pandemic presses on, I too am noticing the smaller things much more. I can barely tell an eagle from a robin but my appreciation for their beauty is heightened. These days it is easy to get sucked into a dark vortex. Your eloquent writing is a reminder to poke our heads out of the downward swirl to see all that is good.

    Like

  7. Glynn-Ellen M. Harrell

    Diane,
    That blog was a beautiful book in itself!
    What a gift you have and we are all blessed by having you share that gift with us!

    Like

  8. And I am thankful for you, Diane – for your wonderful prose, quirky sense of humor, and weekly posts that make me smile. Also, I want to live in your house, no, I want to sit in your yard to experience peace and nature every day, the way you described it. How lovely! I’m glad you had a nice Thanksgiving and that there is so much in your life to be thankful for. I can only hope that ours in the US will be similar. For some reason, I doubt that!

    Like

  9. ccouckuyt

    That was lovely. I could feel myself get calmer and more mellow as I read. Thanks!

    Like

  10. Beautiful pictures, you are blessed. So am I , just a different place.Bob

    Like

  11. Huge thanks for this beautiful celebration of a season I love.
    Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated here. Which I think is a mistake. Gratitude is a gift which keeps giving – and requires no wrapping. Which is a plus because I wrap things very, very badly.

    Like

    • LOL! Quite a few years ago I solved my gift-wrapping disability by sewing gift bags — just a simple pillowcase-like rectangle of pretty fabric with ribbons sewn into the side seam a few inches down from the open end. Drop the gift in, tie the ribbons shut around the bag’s neck, and all your wrapping problems are solved. They take about ten minutes to make (and that’s if you bother to finish the inside seams) and they last forever.

      Better still, after I’d given a bunch of them away, they started coming back as gift wrappings from my ‘giftees’ who’d discovered how convenient they were. Who knows, they might even hold gratitude. 😉

      Like

  12. Tom

    Happy Thanksgiving Diane!
    We don’t do that here, but just being aware of and grateful for everything around us makes all the difference.
    Love this post, Diane. Feel Good of a different kind, but fabulous just the same.

    Like

  13. Rudy™

    The peace and serenity of your post are something that are sorely needed where we’re at. 🙂 Send more, please! ❤

    I’m glad me and my better half stay home on Thanksgiving. It’s just the two of us empty-nesters here. We can shut away the outside world, eat one hell of a good dinner, have too much dessert a few hours later (two different pies…and you know I need one good-sized slice of each!), and not have anything to worry about. The weather is usually awful by then, but if it’s a rare warm and sunny day, I’ll be out there breathing in the leaf-tinted fresh air.

    I think Canada had it right by having Thanksgiving now, vs. late in November. Things haven’t been all that good this year, but let me tell you a little secret–we’re alive, reasonably healthy, employed, and haven’t let COVID in the door. Sure, there may have been a little day-drinking involved, but I can think of worse fates than what we’ve been through this year!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Like

    • Day-drinking? You say that as though it’s a bad thing… 😉

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post! My “serious” posts only happen about once a year, so I figured this was as good a time as any.

      Hubby and I had a two-person Thanksgiving dinner, too: Eggs Benedict. Totally weird for Thanksgiving dinner, but we’d been too busy to cook earlier in the day, and all the buttery Hollandaise sauce tasted pretty luxurious. And I just picked my pumpkins yesterday, so pumpkin pie will be on the menu soon!

      Like

      • Rudy™

        Pumpkin pie sounds good! Apple as well, since we are in the middle of apple season now. We’re not big on turkey, so maybe once every few years we’ll get a turkey breast for us and that’s plenty.

        I’ll let my other half know there’s another positive vote for day-drinking. Working from home, she’s busier than ever now. They’ve been in Zoom hearings with various courts in the area–she’s a legal administrator. Some mornings, that splash of Irish Cream in the coffee is just enough to take the edge off and keep her from biting the opposing counsel’s head off. 😉

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        • I can’t even imagine the patience her job requires! Day-drinking sounds like the only reasonable response. 😉

          And mmm, apple pie! I was so excited to pick *four* apples from our baby apple tree this year. And exactly one day after we picked the apples, we had a violent windstorm and the tree broke off a few inches above the root. Off to the greenhouse again next spring for another tree, sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  14. Barbara Vernon

    Wishing my life away I suppose but I will be very glad when Murphy goes back into his cave and this year is over. But, I’m thinking the first part of 2021 is not gonna be a picnic. Too much crazy crap going on to just melt away. plague, politics, all the crazies on their kicks.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, even tho it’s gone already. well, until next year.

    Like

  15. Thanks for the reminder of all the things for which to be grateful. I do miss my Canadian neighbours ever since the border closed. Hopefully, we will all get together again someday.

    Like

  16. Michelle

    Happy Thanksgiving!! I read through this post three times, so vivid and beautiful. And that pic of the tree is stunning! I love Fall. Love the mix of warm sun and chilly air, it’s so comforting. But I always get a little wanderlust this time of year.

    Like

    • Wanderlust in fall — that’s interesting! Maybe you have some deep evolutionary roots telling you it’s time to migrate?

      Fall is actually my least-favourite season, although I’m learning to love it more since I’ve moved to the Pacific Northwest where it’s a much longer, gentler, more colourful season than in Calgary. The Katsura tree in my photo smells exactly like caramel in the fall! 🙂

      Like

  17. laurap316

    Happy Thanksgiving to you. Your descriptions paint such a beautiful picture, but I had to read it twice since I was only half listening. I kept looking for snark. You did not disappoint though. I felt like I was sitting next to you as you shared so much beauty better than my easily distracted mind would have settled down enough to see and to be thankful.

    Like

    • I have to admit that my original draft started with snark, but I managed to suppress it. The next post might have a double portion, though! 😉

      It’s hard to slow down long enough in this busy world to see the beauty around us. Sometimes my morning tea is the only thing that keeps me sane. (And considering my version of ‘sanity’, that’s a scary thought.)

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m in the UK we don’t do thanksgiving but I am thankful for my parents and my friends. I’m thankful for my home and my job.

    I’m also thankful for your books they keep me entertained and help pass the hours I can’t sleep you and whinnie the pooh.

    I wish I could sleep better but I never have.

    Happy thanks giving to you.

    Like

  19. Read the Book 16 blurb. HAH!! I TOLD YOU BLUE EDDIE WAS A FORMER BADASS WITH A PAST!! I BLOODY KNEW IT!!!

    (Ahem) Ok, all better now. Sorry for the unseemly display. (thnort!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Only a Canadian (or a Brit) would consider the above comment to be an “unseemly display”! For us outdoor voice usin’, butt-crack showin’, toothpick chewin’, gut bulgin’ Yanks, that’s god-fearin’, Sunday dinner table talk, that is! (OK, maybe not. But then I used to live in Winnipeg, so perhaps I am a tad biased.) However, I concur with your pronouncement. I, too, have always believed that there was more to the gentleman than met the eye. (Minnesota me, doing an unrecognizable imitation of a British accent)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Bahahaha!!! I’m happy that you’re happy! But just remember, things aren’t always as they seem at first glance…

      Liked by 1 person

      • So I’ve heard. But even if they’re totally not, they still kinda are. Bryant’s Law. As well as words to live by. 🤪😜

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          • And Happy Thanksgiving, by the way. 2020 has been our worst year ever, but we’ve STILL got so much to be thankful for that I don’t even know where to start.

            But we’re still staying up until midnight on 12/31. Not to welcome the new year in, but to make DAMNED SURE the old one is gone. Not kidding.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Miriam Rittmaster

              Us Jewish people have already been there, done that, back in September. Clearly we weren’t successful in the least, so I’m relieved that we have a second chance in December. Also, the Australian aboriginal tribe of Murador has theirs on October 30, the Indian Marwari/Gujarati New Year is October 27, Eastern Orthodox is January 14, The Korean New Year is January 15, Vienam’s Tet is January 25, Mongolia’s is February 12, and there are a bunch of other celebrations in March and April, just in case 2020 proves to be stubborn. Have fun!

              Liked by 2 people

              • I totally get that. We used to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival with our Chinese and Taiwanese kids before we moved away. And Persian New Year. And anything else we could find. One Thanksgiving, we fed 60 people from 17 different countries in our 1,500 square foot, zero-lot-line garden home. And when nothing official showed up on anyone’s calendar, we’d make something up.

                Like, HAPPY FRIDAY, everybody!!

                Gad, that was fun! Any excuse for a party!! We have ‘grandchildren’ from those ‘kids’ now. Most still call us Mom and Dad. Good times. And I’m past ready for some more, too.

                Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes, even in these weird times, there is a lot to be grateful for.

    Liked by 1 person

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