Thanskgiving is all we need

Thanksgiving became significant for me only after I moved to the US. I have never felt before the power of these days when we have the opportunity to stop and reflect on all the good things we have in our lives.

Thanksgiving will undoubtedly have a special flavor this year. Restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic are finally being lifted, and we will be able to meet our dear ones with less fear.

I love to see how enthusiastic people become with the preparations for this day, which ends, for most of us, as the ultimate cheating day of any diet style.

But this year, more than ever, I believe that it is essential to focus on the primary meaning of this powerful holiday: what are we thankful for?

In my case, I would say that being healthy comes absolutely in the first place. Then having a strong body that allows me to perform so many different activities, like walking in Central Park, a favorite, but also endure the many hours I spend at work. A flexible brain, defied by my constant interest in learning, and I've been learning a lot (do you know our brains are designed to resist change?). Having a comfortable and safe home and delicious and healthy food on my plate every day. A wonderful family that accepts my choice of living abroad, despite a permanent sense of missing. Lovely friends who give me unconditional support, especially when things go a little dark, but who also remind me to celebrate my victories, being them personal or professional.

I could say much more, but I'll stop here. I think you have already got what I mean.

That's why I wanted a very meaningful photo with a unique accidental heart for my Thanksgiving cards. And this photo came to me randomly, through the hands of Debbie Stratton, the graphic designer who has been helping me bring my cards to life. The photo you see on our Thanksgiving cards was taken by her in Colorado, USA. You can see a little bit of dog fur on the top of the dry leaf. This fur belonged to Rio, a wonderful Golden Retriever who was part of Debbie's life for ten years. She tells here the story behind her photo:

"The way Rio looked at me with love in his eyes... my heart melted. He was adopted from Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies in 2010 and was so joyful, funny, and the smartest dog I've ever had. He made me laugh... and I know he liked making me laugh. I am grateful to have loved him and to have been loved by him for ten years.

Rio’s happy place was in the mountains hiking and snowshoeing. Very athletic, he could jump through the air horizontally and vertically to catch tennis balls. He loved car rides and was usually hanging out the window, smiling. The car windows were always open... usually with heat or AC blasting too!

A brain tumor caused problems that were too much for Rio’s brain and body to handle. He was active until the end and even walked on a trail and waded in the stream on his final morning.

I found this heart-shaped leaf outside my front door the day after he went to the Rainbow Bridge. I put a piece of his fur on the leaf, and it stayed there for a few days until it blew away, soaring, just like Rio is now doing."

I was deeply moved by Debbie's story but above all by how grateful she is for having him in her life, although she still misses him. I thank her for allowing me to share Rio's photo with you all.

And how about you? What are you thankful for?

get inspired by our Thanksgiving blank cards Kotae