There are many things to give thanks for this year.. health care professionals, people who work on vaccines, those folks in the energy, fuel and food supply chain that provide us with the food and the visitors gracing our doorsteps tomorrow. In previous years, we may have more or less taken them all for granted, but not this year.
On a more forest-y note, I am grateful for the Infrastructure Bill and the possibilities for beneficial actions therein. Even though it was last year, (but the funding continues through 2025), I am also grateful for the Great America Outdoors Act. Not only do I appreciate the bucks going towards things I like, but also the fact that useful work can be done in a bipartisan manner through Congress. There is hope.
Finally, there are so many people at The Smokey Wire I am grateful for! Contributors, commenters, guest posters, those folks who return my calls and emails when I am looking for more information. People who share e-reprints of their journal articles, or newspaper articles I can’t access due to paywalls. Information officers in the Forest Service who have been immensely helpful. Of course, I’m particularly thankful for people who disagree with me and help me learn new things and become clearer on my own thinking. All the people who provide their own knowledge and experience (and views of Google earth) to share with us. Many traditions believe that our ancestors are still with us, helping us. And I think that’s true of our vocational ancestors as well as our family ancestors, and so I thank them.
And of course, I feel immense gratitude to the folks at Cloud Nine Web Design, who keep us running. And folks who donate to TSW, so that Cloud Nine gets paid. I don’t know where the servers are, but somewhere is the energy that goes into running them, and the folks who provide that. And the people who made the devices that we use to access TSW. And, of course, the people at WordPress. Like so many things in the universe, exactly how it works is a mystery. I don’t need to understand it to be grateful.
And all those who have contributed in any way to any of these, currently living or not. That’s a ginormous cloud of interconnection (or communion of saints, or cloud of witnesses if you are so inclined).
The thing about gratitude is that it honors that ginormous network we are all a part of, beyond space and time. Sometimes we work in a piece of the network, a bit like a fishbowl, and think that that is the world. Enumerating our gratefulness is a chance to step back and call out all those connections. And thank them. And, if we are so metaphysically inclined, to thank the Force/Mother/Father/Gaia that brought us all to be.
I wish everyone a safe, healthy and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving!