Every day this past week has begun and ended with the wailings of the fog horns echoing in our bay, cloaked in a veil of mystery. During the day the sun’s warmth evaporates the mist, unmasking emerald landscapes filled with splashes of ginger and gold. Bales of hay, corn stalks, pumpkins and baskets filled with magenta mums have popped up everywhere. And in the evenings, I love to settle down beside my Hubby and watch the flames flicker in our fireplace.
Living with a global pandemic dominating the news and our lives has made it a tough and distressing year for all of us. And now it’s Thanksgiving weekend, one of my favorite holidays. I love to decorate our home, connect with the family, dress up and feast on a savory turkey dinner. And this year, I find my feeling of gratitude comes from a much deeper place in my heart, perhaps because of all that we have endured.
Taped to the corner of my front window is a small printed copy of the Canadian flag with a heart in the middle instead of the traditional red maple leaf. Back in March, people all over the Island placed these flags along with cut-outs of hearts and rainbows on their windows. Together with nightly pot banging, people joined as a community to show support and thanks to our Health Care workers. These front liners worked tirelessly to save the lives of those ravaged by the virus and protect and treat anyone with a medical emergency or life-threatening disease. And even though the nightly pot banging eventually stopped, I am grateful that the dedication and efforts of these astounding professionals to save lives has not.
It was early April and we’d all been in lockdown for just a couple of weeks when the local TV station CHEK aired what they called the ‘Rock for Relief’ concert. It featured the Island’s top musical talents, both international and local, performing from the living rooms of their homes. I was touched by the generosity of the performers, viewers, our neighbours and friends. Collectively we showed that we cared about the welfare of each other. The concert raised over $500,000 in 90 minutes. In 52 days, the Rock for Relief Fund grew to over $6 million, with the monies disbursed on the Island to charitable organizations serving those hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis.
Last week I stood in a socially distanced, masked-up line outside Mitchell’s Farm Market. We were all waiting for the guard at the door to hand us a sanitized basket and tell us individually when it was safe to enter the building. Inside, green arrows on the floor directed us around the open space filled with vegetables, freshly picked from the farm that morning. I heard the shopper in front of me thank the cashier for the store’s efforts to make it a safe place for all of us to visit. In my heart, I also thanked the customers for doing their part.
I received a ‘Happy Thanksgiving’ card in the mail today. The sender wrote, “Some days it can seem hard to find the silver lining, but the act of continuing to look for it has reinforced how important our mindset is in how we experience the world around us.”
We’re reminded that difficult times tend to be the ones in which we grow the most. And while it’s easier to be thankful when things are going well, it’s more powerful to be equally thankful during our trials. It starts with finding one small thing to be thankful for every day.