Giving Thanks For The Great Outdoors

By Mary Ellen Ellis | November 24, 2021
Image by welcomia
by Mary Ellen Ellis
November 24, 2021

Gratitude is a powerful feeling, but it’s more than that. Gratitude is also an intentional act, one that the experts say make you happier. I believe it, which is why I love to take time to think about what I’m thankful for. This list often comes back to the garden. 

What Am I Thankful For?

There was a time when giving thanks or expressing gratitude was largely reserved for Thanksgiving. This is still a time of year when most people reflect on gratitude, but many of us realize how important it is to consider year-round 

I try to think about how lucky I am, and what I’m grateful for, regularly. This, of course, includes my family, friends, pets, and good health. But more than anything, my list of gratitude circles back to the outdoors, plants, and gardening: 

  • In the fall, I am always thankful for the changing season, the slower pace in the garden, and the gorgeous colors that grace my yard and favorite nature trails. 
  • I am grateful every day for the wildlife I get to see in my garden, from squirrels and blue jays to butterflies and deer. Even if they nibble on my plants, I can’t help but enjoy their wild presence in my suburban garden
  • As the pandemic changed so much, I am grateful that gardening never had to take a back seat. 
  • Spending time outdoors on trails, one of my most favorite hobbies, was also still doable during this difficult couple of years. 
  • I’m grateful for the fact that it became safer to travel a little. This year, I was able to get out and see some beautiful natural spots, including in the Colorado Rockies and Northern Michigan. 
  • I am so grateful also for the local beauty. My city has beautiful parks that have been a source of solace, not to mention something to do, when everything else shut. 
  • This year, I’m grateful for my husband who helped me tackle some bigger projects in the yard, including new mulch and creating a new bed for my divided daylilies
  • I love my cats, and I’m grateful that two out of three have begun to enjoy spending time outside with me. I keep them on a leash, but they have been brave enough to come outside and share the sunshine with me. 
  • I’m grateful for my neighbor who keeps up her yard and beds even better than I do mine. It gives me more to enjoy when I sit out on my back patio and a friend to visit with when the weather is nice. 
  • I am also grateful for the future possibilities, something you always have as a gardener. There is always next year and next season and time to try something new or make improvements.
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