Gratitude Heals. Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving

Don’t know if you noticed it—The Mountain Enterprise is well into its 54th year of publication. Your hometown newspaper is nine years older than Saturday Night Live.

That is about 2,808 weekly issues since 1966, documenting the lives and stories of the people who live here.

Our archives are a cornucopia of comedy, tragedy, satire, schmaltz, concerns about the future, pride in our kids, churches, families, schools and small businesses.

As a community, we bear the hazards of wildfires, snowstorms, floods, mudslides and drought, then swap stories of what we have survived, together and alone.

So, this Thanksgiving week, I can’t help but measure the public joys and pride of our Mountain Communities against the private challenges we each face as individuals.

Losses can be a gut punch.

Whether loss comes to us through the death or illness of a beloved; or abandonment of long partnership through divorce with the cruel stabs of betrayal or faithlessness; whether it is loss of a job or a terrible squabble with a family member or a neighbor; loss of an investment, loss of trust, loss of a dear friend or a cherished belief…for most humans, the only option is to reach deep inside ourselves to find resilience.

Resilience is a form of magic we learn from all of life around us—all those joyful three-legged dogs loping across a hillside chasing the shadow of a butterfly. Or those lopsided giant conifers on Mt. Piños that lose their crowns to lightning strikes, yet persist in becoming staunch giants capable of living into a second century—a little twisted, but triumphant.

It is a transformation to accept what has passed and turn toward the future.

For humans, one powerful pathway to resilience is a simple meditation on all we have to be grateful for—even at those bleak moments when what our dark twin within really wants to do is to obsess on what we have lost.

Focusing on gratitude is a calming mantra to the injured parts of the human spirit within each of us.

So this day, this Thanksgiving, on those walks and in those talks, in the moments between cooking, cleaning and catching up on family gossip, we wish you the simple joy of being grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This is part of the November 29, 2019 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.

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