Every time I listen to the news, I give thanks for where I live.
Let me explain. I live in a 75-km semi-circle centered on the village of Ingleside. The diameter of that semi-circle rests upon the St. Lawrence River. To the east is Montreal and the province of Quebec. Across the river is the state of New York. To the northwest is Ottawa.
Living in this location, I give thanks just about every day. On the Thanksgiving Day that just passed I was especially grateful.
Here’s my gratitude list: There is no major tectonic plate fault line that threatens to topple my house into a gaping chasm. (The same cannot be said for the west coast of North America and many other regions of the world).
Our climate provides adequate precipitation, but partly as snow in the winter. Winds are only occasionally strong enough to tip over garbage cans. To my memory, only ‘The Ice Storm of 1998’ was a severe problem. (In comparison, parts of Atlantic Canada are still reeling from the damage caused by the latest hurricane, Fiona. Puerto Rico, Cuba and parts of Florida have not yet recovered from Ian. Pakistan is still one-third under water thanks to their annual monsoon.)
“Peace on earth…”, especially in my 75-km semi-circle. Yes, we have occasional reckless driving on our side streets and some roadside littering. (However, what peace is now in Thailand’s day care? What about the endless conflict between Israel and Palestine, and how much suffering and destruction has been inflicted by the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Putin? Who would like to have North Korea on the other side of your 38th parallel? The local skirmishes of the War of 1812 were like a schoolyard squabble compared to what Europe experienced during the two World Wars.)
As my wife says, “We have to be thankful to be living in an area where others take their vacation.” My recent two-month stay in Ottawa and Cornwall reminded me that we have access to quality medical care without using a credit card or putting a mortgage on our home. (If I needed that hospitalization on the other side of the river, it would have bankrupted me.)
Try to count the pumpkins on the farm cart. That’s the number of blessings you and I have been given. Unless you are a refugee from a war-torn or impoverished Third World country, we were blessed from the day we were born.