At Nature Kids Preschool, in Seattle's Discovery Park - we plant trees at thanksgiving. I love this tradition. It's my third year doing it and I was digging next to a mom whose three children had attended consecutively and she had been doing it many many years in a row! It was wonderful!
The problem with Thanksgiving has always been that thankfulness is invisible.
How on earth do we measure how thankful we feel? And my generation is volunteering less on that day - giving back in less and less tangible ways as we support more and more of our friends patreons and medical croudsourcing.
So I get deeply thrilled that at Nature Kids preschool thanksgiving is tangible. It is meeting with park rangers and learning to see beauty in ones backyard and getting our hands and clothes all dirty as we plant local vegetation.
I encourage you to try it, to make your gratitude practical. Take a kid out and plant a tree. Or take them out and tell them the names of trees and flowers in your neighborhood. Take them out and show them fishermen and gardeners and tree smarty smart people. If you don't have a kid, maybe go admire vegetation with your grandmother or your partner. Even adults can benefit from learning the name of the trees on their block and practicing gratitutde long into the new year. We can all do with some remembering that it is not just family and friends and warm food that we are thankful for, but also this whole beautiful word that is all around us.
At Nature Kids, after the children plant their trees, they are invited to name them. Maybe that is a thankfulness practice. Does the tree outside your window have a name? The shrub by your doorway?
I'm thankful for you dear reader. Mostly for reading about thankfulness in the middle of January. Thank you for your ongoing generosity.