I recently read an article in my NPR newsfeed suggesting that instead of “What,” we should be grateful for “When” this Thanksgiving. The premise is based around “time,” that rather than give thanks for things or even people, instead we be more appreciative of time.
It’s been an odd year for me where time is concerned. It seems as if the days are either flying by as fast as the cartoon version of pages flipping off the calendar, or as slowly as my blood red pen waiting for midnight so I can cross off yet another day. There has been no in-between for me this year.
No exception to the in-between is my state of gratitude this year. On one hand, how can I feel grateful for a year filled with more personal tragedy than I have experience in the past 61 years combined? Well….because “it’s the most tragedy I have experienced in the past 61 years!” Meaning I have lived through a very charmed past.
As to the future, well, of course that is uncertain. Mom is doing well physically, but it’s tough living alone on the farm, and she has no desire to leave it. She is left with two offspring who both suffer from incurable wanderlust, neither of whom share her love for the family farm. Time has us at an impasse, which is fortunate given the alternatives.
So instead of milling back through the painful past, or wringing my hands over the foggy future, I choose to be thankful for the present moment. This day which seems not unlike all the others, until it’s not. I am grateful for the time given so generously by my loving, caring friends and family who helped me achieve the highest highs, while getting me through the slowest, pain filled days of one red X on the calendar at a time…
“Right now, as you read these words time is rolling out from you. It’s filling space with your awareness of this one precious present moment. That, after all, is all the time we ever know. The past is a memory and the future an idea. But this moment, this breath, this deep sigh of relief or exhaustion, of care or concern — that, really, is all there is to time. The rest is nothing but words on a page or equations on a blackboard.” (NPR Article by Adam Frank, astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester, a book author and a self-described “evangelist of science.”)
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone — and be sure to be thankful for “this one precious present moment.” For it is all we are guaranteed.
And as for precious time spent with friends, here is a “triple play on Thanksgiving Day.” In my last post, I complained about the crowds in Zion. But for every one crowded trail, there are a dozen lesser known trails within or just beyond the boundaries of the National Park, just waiting their turn to be explored. Here are three such glorious examples of hikes where we didn’t encounter a single solitary soul…
Chinlee to Coal Pits Wash Loop
Hellhole Canyon, Ivins, UT
No Name Waterfall in a Frigid Canyon off Hwy 9
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson