Giving gratitude | Readers share what they are thankful for this year

It has become a tradition here at the Journal and the Sounder to share anonymous submissions of what community members are grateful for each year. We are always thankful for you, our readers and supporters! We couldn’t do this work without all of you.

Below is a list of what some of our readers are thankful for:

• The generous eye-crinkle smiles and sparkles seen around town. The rich sweetness in our bright air that evolves with every season from the lusty hot forest in the summer to the tingly refreshment of frost on a winter morning.

• I am deeply grateful for the visionaries of the past, who inform the change-makers of the present that will support the transformative leaders of tomorrow. I am grateful for a future that holds indigenous sovereignty, reparations, abolition, and healthy communities are being worked on in real tangible ways.

• I am thankful for those who, though apprehensive, were vaccinated knowing it was for a greater good. It is not always easy to separate one’s personal goals and feelings for the greater good. However, there are times in history in the effort for humankind to survive we must recognize the survival of our species and make selfless decisions for all human survival. The noise around such actions can be deafening in today’s world. I am hopeful one’s moral compass can turn that volume down long enough to savor such selfless actions.

• I am grateful for my deep friendships.

• I am thankful for my friends and family who I disagree with about tough topics but at the end of the day we’re still close and our relationships are stronger because of our differences. There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned opinionated debate followed by laughter and hugs.

• My boat, and that there is the skill and knowledge to on the island to keep it floating.

• I am thankful that my parents are alive and well and we can share this Thanksgiving all together as a family.

• I am most thankful that Orcas Island is my home.

• The Moat. Quiet. Partnership. Kindness. Friends.

• To summarize everything I am thankful for this year, I can draw everything back to the concept of “space.” That is: to create space, hold space and rejuvenate in our own human expansion of sensing and deciding what has room in our lives to stay, and what is worthy of clearing out for new. The people and creations in my life who are meant to stay, sparkle with a brightness that can send me to my knees. Likewise, the areas or people that I’ve had to let go of in whatever the circumstances find themselves, have allowed for the most beautiful and ascended, new relationships and creations to come in. I am thankful for all of these people and beautiful conceptions that occupy, as well as the space, however challenging to make or hold, that bring in the new. Lastly, I am thankful that the tools needed to gloriously evolve are already within us and that we are able to co-create in the magic of all the insights that somehow find their way to us.

• I’m thankful for the people that really support me right now. I couldn’t do this thing called life without them. And I’m thankful for my health and my body. And the rights I have in this life! I am so thankful for the blessings bestowed upon me from every single ancestor indigenous and otherwise who made way for me to exist in this space as I do now. As always, grateful for the clean water that keeps coming. And Prince. I’m forever grateful for Prince.

• Though I try to live a life of daily gratitude, Thanksgiving offers an opportunity to focus on just how deeply grateful I am for this life I lead on this island I call home; for all my siblings who are still alive with thriving and growing families; for the long-lasting friendships I cherish and hold dear, and for new friends in my life who mean so much; and for the friendship of those who have recently passed; for my aging four-legged furry feline who, in her own way, greets me each morning and each evening; for the energy to work at a job I love; for the overwhelming love and support I have felt from this community as I try new things, share my stories and work at being a better human. Thank you, thank you, thank you I whisper to the universe, I am most grateful.