This year was to be the first time one of my brothers would host Thanksgiving at his new home. I was excited for the possibility. When my mum broached the topic in July or August, I was still hopeful that we’d be together as I have missed seeing my family. However, as we got into November and started seeing Covid cases on the rise, we all agreed to forego the gathering this year and I found myself happy to have the extra time digging in the yard. The first phase of plants are nearly all in the ground and there will likely be time to get the last of them planted this weekend. The mallows I planted two weeks ago arrived with a few small buds already on them, which have now opened into pretty pale pink blooms.

Phase two arrives the second week of December, and comprises even more plants, but fewer varieties, than the first. Bees keep investigating me while I’m working in the yard. One landed on my bare arm today and I gave her a lift around the side of the house until she decided she had reached her destination and flew away.

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It is the perfect holiday in my opinion since it is all about family and food, and it reminds me to be grateful for the myriad blessings in my life. Plus, it’s during a time of year I love with its brisk mornings and warm days. It’s also near my birthday, which is generally my time for taking stock of the past year and envisioning the next.

I am thankful that despite everything that has occurred in this crazy year, my family is safe and healthy. My brothers and I are still working out in the world and not able to isolate completely. Our parents are older and I am thankful they made it easy for us by clearly stating that they did not want any of us to take unnecessary risks by being together for the holiday. I am grateful for a job that I mostly love even though I sometimes have some serious disagreements with the organizational mission and disregard for life. I am grateful to my husband, Marc, for providing this beautiful house to use as a palette in designing a playful, magical space that welcomes and provides habitat for wildlife. I am especially thankful for friendships with MaryScarlett, who encouraged me to start this blog, and with Andrea, who has generously shared her time and knowledge of bees to get me started in this beekeeping adventure. Lastly for this abbreviated list of gratitudes, I am most grateful that for the first time in many years, and quite probably due to the blessings listed above among many others, I am more curious than I am resigned: curious to discover what the future holds, curious to see if humans will critically consider and seek to remedy the deleterious effects we have had on the other species that inhabit this little rock of ours, curious to watch how the plants grow, curious to learn if the bees will thrive, and curious to explore ways to assist them where needed.

And you, what are you thankful for?