Thanksgiving is perhaps my favourite holiday. I love the smell of turkey and roasted vegetables in the oven; the crisp, clean air; the change of seasons cycling through; and gathering with family and friends to celebrate the bounty of our lives.
Thanksgiving, to me, is a reminder of the important cycles that define our lives. It is a reminder to slow down, to rest, and to reset. The style, rhythm, and order of our lives shifts as the nights grow longer and the days cooler. More of our time is spent indoors and our lifestyles and leisure choices adapt to the change of season. Our internal clocks cycle with the seasons and as the leaves change colours, salmon run, and birds migrate we celebrate fall with the harvesting of crops and preparation for the winter ahead.
Through giving thanks, we are given the opportunity to reflect on our lives, to celebrate its bounty, and to plan for the next cycle. As I write, I am brought back to a Thanksgiving in Fredericton, NB. We gathered friends from around the province and country to enjoy a feast complete with turkey and Tofurkey, potatoes and pies, love and laughter. To decorate, we collected Red Maple leaves and wrote on them the various things we were thankful for. It was a fun way to give our thanks but also a way to spark conversation about what we wanted for the next cycle of life. We talked about where we wanted to travel, the activities we wanted to do, where we would like to work, and the people we want to share that time with. Through giving thanks, we opened our hearts to the potential of the coming season and the choices we have every day to make actions that we will be thankful for today, tomorrow, and at the end of our life’s cycle.
With another Thanksgiving at our doorsteps, what will you be thankful for? How will you use that reflection to plan for the next cycle? What choices and actions will you take to enhance your life—will you learn a new activity or skill? explore somewhere new? (re)connect with someone you love? This weekend, I encourage you to take the time for reflection and to share your aspirations as we celebrate the giving of thanks.