Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017: Elemental Gratitude

As an especially beautiful autumn here in the Pacific Northwest begins its slide into winter, I'm thinking about gratitude. For this year's annual Thanksgiving blog post, I'm keeping it simple. 

Last year at this time I was still recovering from the shock of an accident, so I was simply grateful for my life.  Now I'm paying homage to nature. 

If you've been here before, you know Pacific Northwest Seasons is in large part about our beautiful environment. I'm nourished by being outside in our mountains, forests, national parks, or on our waterways. I'm convinced it's essential to good health and well-being.

So I'm grateful for mountains, which have presented many opportunities for adventure and growth. After living on the East Coast for a few years post-college, I was drawn back home in large part because I missed "real" mountains, craggy and layered with glaciers.

My gratitude is great for trees, especially western red cedar (thuja plicata). These trees literally sustained and nursed me as a little girl who lost her mother far too young. I grew up surrounded by them in our yard in East Multnomah County, and their presence was a soothing balm.

I'm thankful for water. Of course! Stream, rivers, the Salish Sea, and the Pacific Ocean, they've all coursed through my life. I've reveled in jumping into cold freshwater mountain streams, kayaking the sea, playing in ocean waves, swimming in sun-warmed lakes, slaking my thirst on long hikes with fresh cold water, and much more. 

I could go on, but these are my iconic trio. They are elemental to our life here in the Pacific Northwest (as many places of course, but especially here.)

I'm sad for the degradation I've seen to our forests from past/present logging and development that displaces former woodlands, for pollution that still affects our water quality, and for global warming that is causing our glaciers to melt.

Many good people and organizations are working in support of the health of our many and varied ecosystems here. For them I'm also grateful. Most nonprofits could use our support, like homegrown Conservation Northwest and Save Our Wild Salmon, the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy (Washington and Oregon), and lots more.

And while I love alone time in nature, I also am grateful that being outdoors together has created and cemented many great friendships.

So today, I salute what's still here, beautiful and majestic. For all this, I am thankful.
I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving and holiday season, whether you celebrate with family and friends, in nature, alone, or any other way.

I'd love to hear what tops your gratitude list this year in the comments below.

Happy trails and thanks for visiting Pacific Northwest Seasons! In between blog posts, visit Pacific NW Seasons on FaceBook, Twitter, and Instagram for more Northwest photos and outdoors news.  




Anne said...

I am grateful most of all for my family, sister Vic and you, Jill, brother John and lost brother David. The younger family, my children, nieces and nephews, and finally a granddaughter. Almost all of us are in the PNW which I have never chosen to leave as a resident, as I knew not only my roots but my heart was here and nowhere else. Traveled to 60 or 70 something countries, had wonderous experiences, but will only live here. When I see Mt. Rainier, I see home.

Anonymous said...

Greatful for family and friends, for the generational gift of a farm, and the eclipse that gave us a chance to share it. Grateful to live in a blue state surounded by people who share my values. Each season brings natural events that reinforce the knowledge that nature is in charge. Fierce storms are always interesting. And grateful for the relative ease of most of our daily lives, heat at the turn of a dial, running water at the sink, hot water on demand, electric lights, clothes that we don’t need to manufacture, and clothes washers and dryers, cars, tractors. My great grandmother raised eleven children, kept them healthy and educated them without any of those things. My grandmother spend her early married life washing clothes in a couple of galvanized wash tubs which now, loaded with ice, chill beverages for parties. Not everyone is so lucky but I certainly am and I am profoundly grateful. Also grateful to understand that growing up around people who knew how to survive tough times I have the skills to do the same if I need to. Live is rich. Mary Lou and Ben

jill said...

Beautiful comment/gratitude list, Mary Lou and Ben. Apologies for not posting sooner, been away from the blog far too long.