I've been feeling some self-applied pressure to post something about Thanksgiving, as gratitude is a value we try to role model consistently at Jumping Mouse. As the Facebook and blog posts full of concise and lovely expressions of gratitude pitter pattered down over the weekend, accumulating gently like tiny hailstones from an October cloudburst generated by a fast-moving low-pressure weather system, I felt reluctant to join in. And, understandably I think, reluctant to surrender any more of my Thanksgiving hours to my laptop's unblinking gaze. So I took to my sit spot, and the woods, and the meadows, and the gravel pits, and the family suppers of my hometown of Chelsea, Quebec.
It's so easy to be spontaneously grateful sometimes. I can hardly even think about migratory birds without shedding a tear of anxious gratitude. Natural cycles have shown incredible resilience despite violent changes to the biosphere.
Come to think of it, my experience of gratitude is always held in tension with some sadness. Of course there is a fundamental impermanence in life, but...aren't we all attended to by a frighteningly vast sense of loss? Even in my oldest and dearest sit spot, a reliable prompter of gratitude, I wonder how long it will be until development, pipeline spill, or private property laws will prevent me from visiting it. And how much already has been changed or lost to climate change, altered watersheds, habitat fragmentation, the provincial highway slicing the wetlands, or the absence of wolves, cougars, delicate amphibians.
Deep gratitude, paired as it is with grief, is so personal. Hard to do it justice, except in private moments with the landscape of my childhood, and in shared meals, hugs, walks, and fart jokes with my family, for whom I am very grateful.
And, as Rachel Carson has famously demonstrated, it is enormously important to witness and account for diversity, even as it is being lost.
Thanks landscape, thanks community, thanks family. I'mma love you while I have you.
Oh, and one lasting insight from this weekend after being embarrassed by a big shiny raven: taking selfies DESTROYS your awareness. Just FYI.
Hi everyone! I'm a small, energetic mammal. I sometimes go by the name Zapus hudsonicus.