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Don Torino’s Life in the Meadowlands: A Big Thank You to Mother Nature This Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving is a very special one for sure. We have much to be thankful for and more deserving people than we can ever begin to say thank you to as well. This year we will finally be back with family and friends while still mourning the people we have lost. We will be reflecting on all of those that helped us get through it all. Some we know and still many more that we will never even know their names.

At the risk of sounding more than a bit eccentric or even silly, especially to the nature deprived, I feel I must say a big thank you to the natural world. After all, like family, the birds, butterflies, and even the trees and flowers helped me get through it all.

While we were cut off from loved ones, isolated to our homes and unable to connect to much of the life we once knew, nature was there for us. In fact, in what seemed like forever, when we thought our world around us was collapsing, nature was there for all of us, waiting to embrace us, teach us and welcome us home again.

Courtesy Tammy Laverty

I would like to give special thanks to the Chickadees, tiny and as brave as any lion, displaying a determination that has gone on for eons and is still providing a big smile and a timeless joy to anyone stopping to take notice.

The summer would not have been the same without the Hummingbirds, magical, surreal and magnificent. Never giving up, never afraid. I still hold my breath when I see them. Life would not be nearly what it should be without them.

The Monarch butterflies helped remind me that even though things are tough there is no choice but to do your best and keep going, with a migration that only a super hero could endure and beauty that defy words. The Monarch like us is still here, never giving up, never surrendering and doing it all with grace.

A walk through the wildflowers was never more special than this past year. The Cardinal, the sweet smell of the milkweeds and the closeness of the bumble bees gave me peace, and that is something always to be very thankful for.

Through all of life’s journey, like a strong family, the birds and butterflies  have been there for us, through sadness and joy, good times and bad, from childhood to old age and everything in between nature and its simplicity is who we are if we just stop and look around us. Nature calms us, heals us and enlightens us to a better world for everyone.

On Thanksgiving morning, take a minute to say thanks to a Blue Jay, give a nod to your backyard squirrels and maybe even send a prayer up to the heavens on the wings of a Red-tailed hawk. They deserve our thanks and also our help to make sure they will be here for future generations to come

Happy Thanksgiving!  See you in the Meadowlands.