Monday, October 14, 2013


Somewhere along the line growing up, I have forgotten what Thanksgiving is all about. Sure, the one that we celebrate can be said to be on the backs of a genocide but there is something to be said for taking time out every year to be thankful.

There are many harvest festivals around the world that celebrate the end of summer and fall and the descent into winter. Thanking on one hand and preparing for the cold winter on the other. Every year brings births and deaths, new friends and old enemies.

Food is tied up in this festival as it is normally the time that the farmer's could afford to feast on all that could not be saved for the winter. If you have ever canned, you may remember cursing these long hot nights trying to get the jam done or getting those last few pickles down or cursing the last batch of zucchini relish. We are returning to this notion of seasonality and now that there is a season for everything. I have learned to be grateful for these small inconveniences as they will serve you well in the winter.

In the summer, many beer could not be made before the advent of refrigeration. Craft beer has moved to this model as well. Cask days will be coming soon as a celebration of that old style of brewing.

On a personal note, this past year has been rough but I think things are turning a corner. Last year, I got tendonitis in both my arms which impacted my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I found it hard to cook and do stuff with my kids. Maybe I went into too much of a shell. This fall, with physio and a change of outlook partially due to not being able to do things like throw a ball, hold a hockey stick or a knife, I am finding new joy in these things. For that I am thankful.

I am thankful for my family. I should say families. I am blessed to have a birth family minus a few members, my wife and my wife's family, and my family of friends. Some friends of mine are going through a tough time right now and it is easy to see some of the other typical things that winter often brings or symbolizes. This is a good time to be thankful for your friends and let them know you think of them often.

It is the end of summer and well into fall. Winter is coming. It brings its own rewards, cuddling with hot chocolate and kids, hockey games, skating and Christmas. Cookies and cakes followed by sledding when weather allows. While winter is survival, it is also of dormancy and thought.

I am thankful that winter is followed by spring and that many of the trials and hard times are often followed by a rebirth and growth leading back to fall. Be grateful for the summer and fall. They will see you through the winter.

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