Grateful reflections on Thanksgiving

Obviously it’s cliché to share what I am thankful for on Thanksgiving, but if I don’t stop to reflect on my blessings then what makes this anything more than another Hallmark-card-day? Keeping with the cliché, I am intensely grateful for my family, our health, safety, and home.

I know how lucky I am to have a loving husband who is an equal partner in raising our kids while supporting my ever-shifting professional ambitions. I have three unique kids who each have their own way of pushing me to live life fully and throw “balance” out the window. And we are able to do all of this because we are healthy, strong, and safe.

Family time at thanksgiving

But today I want to focus on all we have to be thankful for on the farm. Thanksgiving is a particularly poignant time on our farm. Harvest is usually wrapped up and we are all happily exhausted. Some years, it is the first long weekend of “summer” that can reliably be booked for holidays! The work, worry, and risk of another crop year is behind us.

Today I can look out my window at bins full of grain. It makes me thankful for our staff, for their dedication and commitment to our farm, and that everyone had a safe harvest season. In the next weeks we will round up our cattle and sell this year’s calves. Our grass is still lush, the cows will come home fat, and the prices are good. How could we not feel blessed?

Steer calf ready for weaning
Finishing up harvest.

The foundation of when and where I live that makes all of these things possible. So I’d like to share the top five things I will pause to say thanks for today.

1) I am thankful to be Canadian

The federal election campaign has heightened my awareness of national and international issues. It has reminded me that Canadians are in the lucky minority to live in safety, abundance, and democracy. I am as critical as anyone of the parties and leaders but the truth is that all of them believe in democracy, equality, and accountability to the people. That is so much more than millions of others in the world can say.

2) I am thankful to be a woman 

For those who know me personally, this one probably comes as a surprise. I’ve been known to quote the Feminist Mystique and figuratively wave my burning-bra around in a debate or two. But I’m grateful to be a mother. A wife. A sister. A daughter. I believe women are equal while different. It is important to pause and recognize those who broke barriers to make my life today possible.

3) I am thankful to work in Agriculture 

I am one of the fortunate few for whom work is never work. I have developed my passion for animals into a career on and off the farm. Agriculture provides endless opportunity for stretch projects as we innovate to feed a growing population with shrinking resources.

4) I am thankful to live in the 21st Century

Now is a time of unprecedented wealth, knowledge and connectivity. What has become expected in terms of communication, transportation, and technology was undreamt of by past generations. This provides the responsibility and opportunity to address global challenges of hunger, disease and poverty that have haunted us since time began. It will be truly amazing to watch these solutions be found and implemented over my lifetime.

5) I am thankful to be a female farmer in Canada in 2015 

Simply put, today I need to pause and be thankful for “my life”. Very few have the chance to live in a rural Canada and raise their kids with the freedom of the farm while working in a dynamic challenging profession. These opportunities remind me how important it is to use my time, talents, and treasures to give back. I am thankful for all of the people, both local and global, that eat our product and make our life possible.

IMG_2318
Thanksgiving meal served at rescue mission.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Lynn Johnstone says:

    Thanks, Leigh – Happy Thanksgiving….. A wonderful time of the year. We have so much to appreciate.

    Liked by 1 person

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