For many years at this special time of year I have sat down and wrote about all the many things I have been thankful for as our environment and the people around it are concerned. Last year at this exact time I was struggling to get through my hip replacement surgery and trying to deal with the pain and sitting in a chair most of the day trying to enjoy the outdoors through my living room window. Thankfully it all worked out well with the wonderful help of my family and the support of many great friends.
But to be honest when it came to writing about giving thanks this year my first thoughts were to just let it slide on by and forget about it, maybe until next year at least. After all, who could have imagined the devastation we as a people and a nation have gone through in such a short time and continue to go through every day. Add to that the political unrest, unchecked environmental issues, unemployment and it’s difficult to look on the thankful side of things.
And yet as we continued our struggle, and as we worked to keep our weekly nature walks in the Meadowlands going and as I talked to more and more of the wonderful folks that joined us I found it impossible not to be very thankful. After all, these are the very people that allow us to continue our daily lives by working in the retail stores and supermarkets and gas stations every single day. I am sure some of the others that come out to enjoy the birds are first responders, postal workers, health care workers and many others on the frontlines giving the rest of us the privilege of living our everyday lives. I am thankful to every one of them and very thankful I have the honor of helping them enjoy nature even just for a few hours each week.
Through it all over the past months, despite the uncertainty and loss, the commitment and the caring about our local environment issues has not wavered and in fact in my opinion many more people have realized how important our birds, wildlife and environment truly are. The deep concerns by everyday folks on the health of our birds and the habitat they need to survive is both inspiring and moving, and worth more thanks that I can give or ever express .
The commitment people have shown, despite everything, to our environment cannot be overestimated or overstated and when we finally get to the end of this nightmare we will be stronger than ever and understand more than ever before what is truly important and for that I will be forever thankful
And as a close friend just reminded me when discussing how the daily stresses are taking a toll on us all that he was very thankful for our longtime friendship. Now more than ever our friends and family are about our health and survival and getting through all this in one piece. I could never do what I do day in and day out with out the support of a great family and wonderful friends
The kind words of encouragement , an occasional thank you, an emailed photo of a bird from a complete stranger that tells me they care gives me the energy to keep going , especially on days when its easy to be discouraged and disheartened, and to my good friends and family my thanks will never be enough . Please hang in there everyone. To say we will get through this together sounds like a cliché but at least for me I am depending on you all to be there. Have a great and safe Thanksgiving. We need each other now more than ever and for that I am forever thankful
See you in the Meadowlands