Monday, November 22, 2021

Thanksgiving 2021: Random Gratitude


It's  a chilly, damp late fall evening as I'm writing this 2021 Thanksgiving post. I'm tired and worn down from the last couple months of work overload. 

To be honest, I'm worn down from the last almost 2 years of the pandemic. I'm not as resilient as I was as a young woman, and my family suffered a couple sad losses in the last year.

But, well, I'm still here, like the Salish Sea tides that rise and fall and rise again near my home. And as we get on in years, just being here is the ultimate gift, to witness life and all its messy loveliness. 

Take mushrooms. I'm increasingly intrigued and captivated by their weird and wonderful variety, their shapes and sizes, and that they spring up like a surprise each year. Did you know that their DNA is closer to human than plant

 I stalk them with my camera, and of course I live in good fungi territory. So here's to gratitude for mushrooms/fungi. There's so much more to learn about them.

I guess that leads me to another gratitude: curiosity. Without curiosity, human societies around the globe would be much less developed and advanced (although with the state of resource overuse and climate change, one can question the wisdom of some of our advances). But there is just so much to learn and read about in the world (and universe). Curiosity has led me to many excellent books as well, for which I'm grateful.


It was hard to think of a photo to match curiosity, so I grabbed the shot above of Yuki, the last cat standing of the colony of spayed/neutered feral cats I've helped manage and feed (along with my neighbors) since 2007. He has been successfully dodging coyotes, cars, racoons, crows, and perhaps an owl or two since at least 2013.

One of the bunch, Tashi, became my beloved pet who died at the end of 2020. Yuki is too feral to become totally domesticated, but he is a nice cat who talks to me and likes to be petted and scratched around the ears. I'm grateful for his feline companionship over the years, and sad he just lost his last buddy Jude. They kept each other warm at night.

I'm also grateful for ferry rides back and forth across Puget Sound/Salish Sea for visits to family in Port Townsend and Bainbridge Island, Washington. I will never, ever tire of the clarifying embrace of the stiff, cold breeze while standing on the front ferry deck as the vessel skims across the sea surface.

On my semi-regular trips to Port Townsend for Monday morning coffee/tea with the gang up there, I always stop at a park on Port Gamble Bay and walk along the bluff or down to the water's edge to take pictures.

I'm always the only one there on Monday mornings, and it's an incredibly peaceful escape from the city. As always, I'm grateful for the balm of nature.

I could continue rambling here on what is basically a stream of consciousness post. But just reflecting on these things bring even more things to mind for which I'm grateful. One can't forget friends and family to share adventures and the everyday.

 And I'm happy that it's always possible to make new friends and reconnect with old friends. They're all gold.

So what tops your list of gratitudes this year? I've barely scratched the surface. But it's a good exercise to get one thinking and appreciating all there is to be thankful for again.

Wishing you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving/holiday season. May you cherish just being here and remember, let's strive to look beyond what divides us to what binds us, with compassion and humanity. 

 And let's all strive to approach others with kindness.

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