Sunday, October 13, 2013

A Canadian Thanksgiving in Scotland...and the "lens" of gratitude.

Morning, under clear skies,
embraced by a timeless sandstone sculpture,
Joan reflects on the beauty of nature.
It's Thanksgiving Sunday back in Canada. The day, started here in Scotland, with a relaxed trail run along the top of the cliffs that tower high above the North Sea. On the way back home, we took a short break, easing our way down to the "Needles E'e" (Eye). This is a hole in the cliffs, sculpted by waves and weather, into the Devonian Old Red Sandstone - laid down over 400 million years ago. Looking out over the water, the sky was clear and blue, the air was warm, and the sun was shining brightly. It was easy to be thankful amidst such stunning beauty.

Returning to our flat, we opened an envelope that a close friend had sent with us - it was not to be opened until Thanksgiving. Inside was a beautiful card with a personal note that was very touching. There was time for me to email a brief thank you note back, before leaving for Sunday duties at St. Margaret's Parish. I shared these words, in part, with our friend...

"Thanksgiving" is such an important matter. Nurturing an attitude of thanksgiving in our lives is really choosing to look at life through a "lens" of gratitude. It's not unlike putting on a pair of glasses, when you don't see very clearly without them. I've found, over the years, that when we do that, everything changes - for the good. 

You see, the way we feel in life is more about our "perspective" than it is about the events that actually take place and the realities that form our each and every day. That's why, even when there are challenges and obstacles (even the really big and scary ones), it is possible to stay balanced, grounded, hopeful, and cheerful. I know this is true, from the very bottom of my heart. 

The attitude of thanksgiving must be fed and nurtured, however. One of the ways that happens comes through the care and love of others in our lives.

Just like kindness, warmth, and compassion, thankfulness is contagious. We can't help but touch others with an attitude of gratitude. We enrich lives and relationships, and that's always a good thing.

Several hours later, by the time services were concluded at St. Margaret's, the day had changed dramatically. The skies were overcast, the temperatures had dropped, the rain had begun to sprinkle down. None of that really mattered though. The "lens" of thanksgiving remained unchanged. There was still every reason to be thankful for family, for friends, for the beauty of the natural world, and for every opportunity we all have to help make the world a better place. We must continue to believe, that one day, all people everywhere will have reason for thanksgiving.

Later that same day, the weather had changed - as it can do. :)
St. Margaret's Parish Church (Forfar) and your's truly,
great to be there for the two-week stint.
And, as always, we're thankful that you stopped by this little blog site. :)

Warm wishes to all, this Canadian Thanksgiving.



  1. Happy Thanksgiving to you both D and J, and to all Canadians wherever they may be,

    Kind Regards

  2. Many thanks, Ian. I think we Canadians are all over! Looking forward to seeing you both tomorrow. Duncan.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Duncan and Joan. I so want to sit where Joan is looks so cool...maybe someday :)

    Have fun tomorrow...Ian does know your age right?...he'll go easy on you? LOL
    Blessings, L

  4. Sharing a word of love and peace with new people for two weeks....beautiful occupation.

  5. Happy Thanksgiving to you too, L. Yes, not "someday", but "one"day, the time just has to be determined. And what's with the comment about "age"?! I do OK for a pensioner! Haha! D.

  6. Good to hear from you, Lee. Your words, as you paddle the brine and explore both sea and land, express deep thanksgiving for this amazing "island" in space and for those who inhabit it. Keep them coming. Warm wishes. Duncan.