With my Thanksgiving Post in 2015, I didn’t know at the time that I would turn this into an annual post. But it’s become a good practice to think about on the things for which I’m grateful. In all honesty, the things that I choose to write about each year don’t really change from year to year.
This year’s post may be short, but I know there are so many things for which I’m thankful. And all the things I have mentioned in year’s past are still forefront in my mind today.
Earlier this year I met a college friend of mine for a week in France. She and I met orientation week Freshman year and throughout college used to talk of one day meeting up in Europe. Because we live in different states, I have only seen her a few times since college – one of which included this French trip. And even though it had been years since we last met up, it was like not much time had passed since then when we finally found each other at Charles de Gaulle airport.
I very much value the friends I have made in college or in my early years in DC, those friends with whom not much time seems to have passed since we last talked. And then there are childhood friends that I am so fortunate to still have in my life after all this time and after the many divergent paths that we may have taken from each other. I know that these people will be around for life’s milestones and small moments, adventures, and late night chats.
I also made it back to Montana this year, which meant hikes in the woods and time spent staring into crystal clear waters of those beautiful lakes. And more and more have I been hearing about mood and mind, and the research for spending time in nature for health benefits. Some of that could be of course because of my own interests and so the podcasts and news pieces I happen to listen to or read reflect these interests.
And then of course it highlights the importance of respecting and protecting those wild areas. I want to see those wild places long into my life, and maybe catch that excitement by seeing a beautiful animal there between the trees. It might be just a glimpse of a bear at the far end of a meadow or maybe even those big horn sheep I saw two years ago next to the road who just stood there watching us just as we watched them.
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
This is an obvious one for those who know me. I love reading, and will read a wide variety: fiction, non-fiction, history, biography, current events, historical fiction, etc. I read for entertainment and my own personal education, knowing I can never know enough about a (any) particular subject. I also remember reading articles that talked about the benefits of reading, of the analytical skills and empathy that it can develop. It’s how I can experience other places in the world and other cultures, and how I can whet an appetite for a place before even going to visit.
I’ve read some incredible books this year, and there are so many coming highly recommended on my to-read list. But there are still several more weeks in the year to read and then a whole new year ahead. I also think that some of these books that I’ve read this year that just take me away for hours have also reminded me of how much I love story-telling. Not that the love was ever far from my interests, but it’s definitely something I’ve found myself thinking about more and more lately.