Welcome! This is a place to share how we celebrate & deepen our relationship to Nature. Here you will find stories, images, & ideas about wilderness, human nature, & soulfulness. Drawing from the experiences of everyday living, the topics on this blog include: forays into the natural world, the writing life, community service, meditation, creativity, grief & loss, inspiration, & whatever else emerges from these. I invite you on this exploration of the wild within & outside of us: the inner/outer landscape.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Gratitude 2020

Eight months into the pandemic I am finding ever more “reasons” to be grateful. 


It is, after all, Gratitude Season. (I first declared this last year around Thanksgiving time…)


The tradition has been to gather around tables over delectable feasts with beloveds of all sorts filling the chairs in our homes. We have hugged and shared forkfuls of pre-dinner tastings; we have nestled near each other by the fire and told stories. All of this indoors, with the closer-the-better proximity to other bodies. Huddled for warmth, for love, for affection. This year it won’t be this way for some of us. 


Nonetheless, there are so many reasons (as if we needed a reason) to be grateful…even during a pandemic. Especially during this pandemic. 


Some reasons:

the very life-sustaining breath that you intake and release.

relationships you care enough to miss when you can’t be near them.

the shelter that protects you as you read these words.

the love of those who nurtured and raised you.

great memories of other feasts and other holy days and other gatherings – and the expectation of those memories-to-make in the future.

the comfort of your home place. 

and so many more …


And of course there is the natural world, wild and wily and inspiring – offering more reasons for gratitude:

two coyotes who dance through the yard, return and linger and pretend all morning that this patch of grass is home.

the five yellow apple leaves, several dozen fig pods, one last fiery-leaved blueberry branch, and half of the alders’ foliage that still cling as if autumn is everlasting.

the now bare-limbed grace of the maples, vine and big-leaf.

clouds, milky and sooty, that roll across the periwinkle sky.

rain that pours and drenches and puddles in nooks.

the perfect paw print in mud.

breezes that animate the strings of my bamboo chimes: a vocal marionette bringing blessing and good wishes.

and so many more …


May you journey your own path to inner gratefulness this season, regardless of the difficult and particular circumstances that might inhabit the world right around you. And if it is any consolation at all, please know that I am thinking of you: 


holding you close.

sending blessings for peace or joy.

eagerly awaiting a day I can be with you in person …

All blog images created & photographed by Jennifer J. Wilhoit unless otherwise noted. Please circulate images with photo credit: "©2020 Jennifer J. Wilhoit/TEALarbor stories. All Rights Reserved."