It’s Thanksgiving today in Minnesota. I can picture my family in a warm house with plentiful food, laughter, and little boys running all around. The holiday and people who celebrate seem so far away that I almost forgot about the date. What gained all the attention here was the first snowfall of the year – big fluffy flakes falling to melt on a ground that’s too warm to accept them. My fellow volunteers are Malaysian girls who had never seen snow before. It felt like Christmas watching them wake up and venture outside, squealing and taking photos of the beauty. We stayed inside much of the day, huddling in the only heated room reading, writing, chatting, and eating strawberry and chestnut bread. On tv the newscasters seemed to have so much fun interviewing people about the snow, filming it, and bounding around to show its depth. It wasn’t until I got to the store and was eating a salad of radish, okra, and seaweed that I remembered it was Thanksgiving.
Here are some things that I’m thankful for:
-My health! The ability to go on walks, climb ladders, carry heavy things, overcome illness, and live without chronic pain.
-My family, whom I need only to think of to be encouraged, and get regular photo updates from.
-My hosts, who feed and care for us, show us around town, and teach us about orchards and Japanese culture.
-Access to free ebooks from the library. I’ve been making great use of it, especially this month!
-The past year of learning, growth, discovery, and redirection.
-My God, who gives me all of these things and abundantly more than I can think to ask.