Red, gold, and burnt orange leaves
Set aflame against the contrasting blue sky
Simultaneous feelings of gratitude and loss
Joy for the moment and nostalgia for the fading bloom of summer
Walks in the woods
Along the river
On mountain trails
The smell of foliage returning to the earth
The cycle of life gone full circle
The satisfying sound of leaves crunching beneath heals
The sun leaving the western sky earlier day by day
The stunning harvest moon welcoming the night
The crisp scent of winter's imminent approach
Connecting with nature
Chantal Plowman - 2020
If only the beautiful warm days of fall with their radiant colours could last for months instead of short weeks. The beauty of nature's transition from summer to winter is all-encompassing. There is an emotional energy to this time of year. It makes me feel grateful to witness the autumn colours mixed together with the sky's backdrop. My heart feels like it is bursting and breaking at the same time. I find fall such a mix of joy and sadness. Joy for the beauty of the days and sad for their fleeting nature.
October in Canada is a time of Thanksgiving. It is a time for harvesting our resources and being grateful for them. This year some of our resources are in short supply. Certainly many people are feeling monetary lack with job losses and businesses not being able to operate in ways that made them most profitable. But our emotional resources have also been diminished by the dragging feeling that "normal life" is too far on the horizon to see. When will be able to socialize and celebrate with the people we love in total freedom? When will we be able to give our parents who are "high risk" a hug? When will we go through a day and not be reminded that there is a virus lurking around us?
In spite of our fatigue, we have to remain vigilant and "go the distance". We don't have the luxury of giving up. So we need to find creative ways to replenish those resources and turn our challenges into opportunities. This year's Thanksgiving might look different than previous years. It might not be the big gathering of family and friends sharing a feast. So what could it be instead? It could be an intimate gathering with your immediate family. It could be a new family tradition, like a Thanksgiving picnic. It could include gratitude for the simplicity of life when there are fewer options. It could include gratitude for being healthy and alive in this moment. And it could include gratitude for being gifted with creative ways of connecting and expressing love.
So my question for October is, "What are you grateful for?" It's a pretty easy question but I'd like to make it a challenge. A challenge has to be something big, otherwise it is just a request. So my challenge is to write down 100 things you are grateful for right now. If you meet this challenge, type yes in the comments below or on whatever social media you found this blog post. If you go beyond 100 things, write your number in the comments. If you like the challenge, then click 'like.'
Whatever number of things you come up with, notice how you feel after focussing on all your blessings. See if anything shifts for you. If not, try experimenting with more gratitude. Get curious about gratitude and see what it can offer you. I have a hunch, it will be a gift. Please share anything you discover in the comments below, in our Weekly ONE Thing Facebook Group or on Facebook or any other social media. Your ideas can inspire other people. I look forward to reading your posts!