Thursday, November 26, 2009

Expressions of Thanksgiving

This week's newspaper column. Read it in the Hattiesburg American.

Thanksgiving, traditionally, came into being as a special time set aside each year dedicated to offering up appreciation for the bounty of the summer harvest. The modern interpretation of Thanksgiving has taken on a decidedly more eclectic flavor broadening in scope to include thanks for all things held dear. As this newspaper's "green living" columnist, and in the spirit of gratitude, here are a few of the many things for which I am thankful.

I am thankful for a growing awareness of the consequences of man's actions affecting the health and long-term livability of this planet we call home, and for the growing army of citizen-soldiers who take it upon themselves to do something about it.

I am thankful for the infinite potential of renewable energies and the veritable cornucopia of creative new ideas for developing and utilizing alternative energies.

I am thankful for my bicycle. I am thankful for farmers' markets where locally grown seasonal food is available year-round. More power to the growing number of local small farmers who, bucking the tide, help educate people about the source of their food supply and make healthy fresh fruits and vegetables available for those who are determined to seek them out.

I am thankful for the changing seasons that remind us of a living planet, and for the falling leaves of autumn that provide the earth with a natural layer of protection from the cold of winter and replenish the soil with nutrients for the next growing season.

I am thankful for diverse experiences that make living more interesting, and for the diversity of people around me who, through their uniqueness, contribute richness to the culture of this community.

I am thankful that I live in a neighborhood where I can walk to a dozen restaurants, a major university, an all-night pharmacy, a grocery store, a city park, and a host of retail, recreational and cultural venues.

I am thankful for the countless daily opportunities where, by conscious choice, we all can lead a healthier, more sustainable existence.

I am thankful for good friends who offer kind words and freely lend all manner of support when they see a pressing need. The limitations of this column do not allow me to mention names, occasions or degree, but you know who you are.

I am thankful that my wife embodies the qualities of love, acceptance and forgiveness without which a sustainable relationship is impossible.

I am thankful that at a time when newspaper circulation throughout the U.S. is dwindling, this newspaper is still publishing daily local news and information about issues that impact the heart and soul and quality of life of this community.

And, sincerely, I thank you for reading this bi-weekly column. It is my hope and intention that something I say makes a positive difference in your life.

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