A Mosaic of Thanks

As many of you know, Canadian Thanksgiving is next Monday and since the paper I write for only comes out on Tuesdays, I wrote this column for this week so I would not miss the holiday. It is a bit local in flavour, but still translates into general thanksgivingness”

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolour, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” – Stanley Horowitz

To my mind, it is only fitting that Thanksgiving is an autumnal holiday. It seems like the celebration of gratefulness is smack dab in the middle of what I consider the best time of the year. It is true that winter is starkly beautiful, that spring brings us renewal, and  that summer seems to ripen fully, but it is autumn where it all comes together—it can be breathtakingly beautiful, heralds in a renewal of a different sort, and provides us with a harvest of the summer’s ripening.

An article that appeared in the online issue of “The Hub” by Eva Antonel  states that gratitude (which is after all what Thanksgiving is all about) can “help you have a healthier heart, allows you to have a more restful sleep, makes you more optimistic, helps you make more friends, boosts confidence, decreases anxiety, improves your likeability and …. your overall health.”

Alrighty then, gratitude wins hands down, making Thanksgiving not just a holiday of copious amounts of food (which in itself is not such a bad thing) but a time to stop and reflect and give thanks for all those things that we often take for granted.

                 “It’s easy to be grateful when the sun is shining” says Antonel, but she was not so sure that people could overcome their tears, anger, resignation and doubt when it came to the devastation caused by the deluge of rain last week in Tecumseh and Windsor.  But in the end the people she spoke to were grateful “that the things they had lost could be replaced and no lives were lost in the melee.”

Antonel gave us some insight into what she is grateful for, and her gratefulness takes a rather local turn. A resident of LaSalle, she says she is grateful for: “Several good bakeries, excellent independent new and used bookstores, a thriving arts community, our proximity to the Detroit River, Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie and the views they provide, our geographical location and climate, our multicultural makeup, our ethnic restaurants, Ojibway and Sandwich Town, local farmers markets and fresh produce roadside stands.”

I share many of the things she is thankful for—but taking a cue from her local outlook I have a few to add coming from our fair town. I love that we live in a community that is starting to make cultural activities not just a footnote, but a prime area of concern. Witness the Cultural Days held last Saturday—the intrepid artists and musicians and other talented folks added some whimsical colour to our streets. But this is not just a one weekend affair—these people are part of the backbone of our town (and environs) and should be recognized. I love Lakeside Park. I love the fact that the new Mettawas Park is taking shape. I love that our trails and pathways are being extended. I love all the wineries within just a few steps and miles from and within our municipality. I am glad to have Lake Erie on our doorstep. We have a plethora of wonderful restaurants to suit any palate and pocket, and the nightlife is starting to take off. Migration Hall and its offerings is a wonderful asset. This list is incomplete—I could add so much more—but I will leave you to think about some of the things you are grateful for.

Harkening back to Antonel’s article, I found the response of another LaSalle resident, Bonnie Baessette resonating—partly because I lived in Windsor for a few years, and the fact that she was thankful for both the large and small things in her life. What is she thankful for? In her (edited by me) words:

“Opening a tap and having an unlimited supply of clean drinking water. Going to bed at night and not worrying about being blown to bits as a war casualty (do we realize just how lucky we are?); enjoying a low crime rate thanks to good policing and gun-control….Access to fresh local food…cultural diversity, a thriving arts community. Lucky to have a university as well as a community college…Biblioasis (and) easy access to Detroit culture and arts.”

I love Thanksgiving—the food, the family get-togethers, the time spent with friends. I wish all of you the best of the day, and leave you with this quote which should raise the coziness quotient of the season and help alleviate the angst felt by those of you unwilling to say goodbye to summer:

“Listen! The wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings, now for October Eves.”  ~ Humbert Wolfe

Published in: on October 4, 2016 at 1:32 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Happy Thanksgiving LouAnn. Love thanksgiving too!

  2. Thanksgiving isn’t a Australian thing, so I found this interesting.

  3. Very nice essay, with so much to love. Remembering how fortunate we are, the harvest, the wind rising, and the air wild with leveds

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