Thanksgiving this year feels like the high point of a whole month of gratitude, and I’m happy that the farm is such a cornerstone to this life worth living. There’s a lot more to it than the farm, though, so here’s the expanded (though still not all-inclusive) list of what’s filling me with thanks.
I am grateful that when I close my eyes and concentrate closely, I can find stillness, feel love, and sense a great mystery. I’m so glad that I’ve had the tools and support to cultivate an inner peace, even when I stray far from it.
I am grateful that when I look in the mirror, I see a deeply beautiful human being. It’s so easy to be self critical, both inside and out, and lately I’ve been happy to view myself with compassionate eyes.
I am grateful that I feel stable, independent, and free. That I’m in a financial situation to access not only what I need, but also what I want. That I can walk around outside and feel relatively safe.
I am grateful for my family. I start laughing and crying simultaneously whenever I think about and feel love for them. I cherish the long past I’ve shared with them (including with our ancestors), am blessed to spend the time we have together in the present, and look forward to whatever we’ll experience in the future. I know how lucky I am to be friends with my family members, and I try my damnedest to never take it for granted.
I am grateful for my home and the people I share it with. I’m even grateful for Lord Underfoot, who is a wild beast of a cat and accepts petting only on his terms.
I am grateful that I get to spend time with so many young people. Nieces, nephews, former students, youth farmers, volunteers, interns. I haven’t always been the unfailingly positive role model that I want to be, but I keep getting more chances, and I like to think I’m getting better at it.
I am grateful that I get to work outside every day at a job that is satisfying, challenging, and produces abundance. Even on the hardest, most frustrating days, I continue to feel lucky to be there and rewarded in myriad ways.
I am grateful for the romantic relationships I’ve had, for the experiences I’ve shared with people I’ve loved, and the path that they’ve all carved out for me. Even though it’s been shockingly rough at times, I’m finally, genuinely grateful for what I've learned and where the journey has brought me.
I am so grateful that I get to eat so much fresh, delicious food produced by me or people nearby, and that I get to move a lot in my daily life. I’m thankful that my body feels generally healthy and energetic.
I am grateful that the season ends at the Youth Farm. I get a chance to feel accomplished, say done!, recharge for another marathon of a season. It’s fun to have a month or more built into my year when I get to keep exploring the world. I’m savoring this time when I can still go places by myself and foster the wanderer in me.
And some other things that seem more superficial but still feed my gratitude these days: podcasts (they’re kinda a new thing for me), yerba mate (especially as an alternative to coffee), a new speaker that allows me to play music that sounds great, my car and bike (I can go anywhere!), the dogs I’m babysitting this week, my big purple farm puffy that I got in a free box in Telluride and have wisely kept all these years (it’s never let me down, even on subfreezing days), shallots, and these good soaking rains (ah, finally).
I’ve listened to a few great discussions about gratitude over the past few weeks, and just having it on my mind has substantially brightened my mood and outlook. If you’re interested, a fine place to start is Shawn Achor’s TED talk, “The Happy Secret to Better Work”. Thanks for reading!