Giving Thanks

A few years ago, I attended a talk by an author who had written a book about the year he had spent scrupulously following Biblical guidelines. He was asked which practices he’d decided to stick with after the year was up.

“Giving thanks for something every day,” he replied without hesitation. A simple act that is undeniably good for the soul. It’s something some of us do without thinking and others never think to do.

In this very difficult year for everybody, I feel very fortunate. I am particularly thankful for the basic building blocks of a happy life: a loving family, good friends, a wonderful partner in life, good health, a comfortable home, and a rewarding job.

Others I asked were more in the moment.

“I am thankful for the nightly (distanced) chats we enjoyed with our wonderful neighbours on the street this summer, and for the empathy that we are learning to show one another,” wrote Adrian.

“I’m thankful for our beautiful country and city with outdoor spaces to enjoy, and that come to life with vibrant colours at this beautiful time of year,” said Anne.

Bruce gave thanks for “the caring response that all levels of Canadian governments have shown to try and help all Canadians.” He noted the evidence from our southern neighbours that this isn’t always the case.

Pam very kindly said she was thankful for these newsletters and the sharing of personal thoughts and music. She added her thanks to “the many people trying to make Willowdale a better place. That gives me hope for the future. I am grateful for the efforts to help one another during the pandemic, and believe we have the strength to carry on as we enter Phase Two.”

Michelle sent an excerpt from her family’s evening dinner prayer: “Thank you (God) for my health, my family my friends, the roof over my head, food on my table, and everything I have. Amen.”

If any of you have thoughts on thankfulness that you’d like to share, we’ll post some of them in a future newsletter, maybe closer to Christmas, or post them on our website.

Today would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday. Is anyone else feeling old? He wrote so many great songs that it is difficult to pick one to post. I settled on one that has been my favourite since the Rubber Soul album was released in late 1965.

– John