Since I was confined to the sofa for a whole week (my back is much better now, thanks for asking), and since it has been dumping record rainfall for weeks, I hadn't gone outside for a while.
So when the sun came out the day after Thanksgiving, my sweetie and I went for a walk in the neighborhood, which consists mostly of trees, rivers, and mountains, and a stack of firewood here and there.
Before I tell you about our Thanksgiving, why don't you come along for a walk?
As soon as I stepped outside, the winter sun warming my face, fresh air streaming through my lungs, wind ruffling my hair, something deep inside of me relaxed and let go.
I NEED to be outside, which is easy to do in the summer, but harder to pull of in winter. Do you guys realize how much rain we get here? It's like a rainforest, except colder and muddier.
Being outside with the trees and the open sky is like going to church for me. Here, I find spiritual sustenance and feel the bigger picture of life, gain perspective on things that are going on around me.
Outside in nature, my anxious worrying seeps into the earth, my troubles float down the river, my negative feelings poof up into the air, and I feel renewed, ready to love and forgive once more.
My best friend Lindsay is a psychotherapist deeply connected with nature, and she has studied in depth all kinds of interesting research. She once told me that people who have had abusive childhoods and weren't able to attach to people instead might attach to nature.
That's me. That's totally what it feels like. The term "Mother Nature" literally feels true for me. I never felt emotionally nurtured by my German family of origin, but instead spent time in nature, where I felt truly happy. I spent hours walking the German countryside with my dog, even when I was quite young.
I've been feeling quite sad lately about my family of origin, the disfunction and disconnection of it, the bad blood.
In stark contrast to that side of my family are my husband's parents. They are visiting us from Minnesota right now and are some of the most non-judgemental, loving people I know. They LIVE for their grandchildren.
I keep thinking 'When will they get impatient or sick of my kids?', or 'Should I keep the kids quieter in the house?' or 'How come they don't get tired of playing games with the kids all day?', but all I have seen for years is the deep love and commitment they show for our kids and for us.
Before they arrived, seven-year-old Eva asked, "Mom, are Gramma and Grampa gonna spoil us?"
Why, yes, little girl, they will, and they are, and they have since you were born, and don't you forget that you are very, very lucky to have them in your life.
Here we are giving our dog Raka her birthday present. She just turned one.
Let me leave you with images from some of our critters in our backyard.
So, so thankful for this amazing life.
What are you grateful for? Leave a comment here. Let's spread some positivity around, shall we?