It’s Thanksgiving in Canada. I’m glad for this holiday as it prompts me to reflect on things that I’m grateful for.
Gratitude is a powerful thing. It causes me to be content. It gives me reason for joy. Most of all, it opens my eyes to appreciate the life that is happening around me.
Over the past week I’ve noticed small surprises in my life that I’m grateful for.
When our family moved, we left behind our favourite Japanese restaurant. The place had delicious teriyaki chicken, fresh salmon sashimi and yummy Alaska rolls, all at a great price with good service. It seemed like it was a loss we would just have to live with, an unfortunate result of moving to a different city.
THEN. A few weeks ago, we were delighted to discover that this SAME Japanese restaurant was opening a branch in our neighbourhood! When it opened, we quickly tried it out. The food was exactly the same as we remembered it to be. The restaurant was bigger than the original one and even closer to our home than the one before! It was a small surprise that we were grateful for – it made our new house feel more like our home, and I was grateful.
When I think about my dream home I always imagine it being by the water. I love spending time by the ocean, the lake or a river. Many people do – which is why waterfront property is so expensive. This dream might take a long time to become reality for me… “maybe when we’re retired,” I usually think.
On nice days here, I take our daughter on a walk. There is a path through a small forest just a few minutes away and that path leads to a river. The other day I was enjoying a walk by the river and suddenly it dawned on me – we might not get to live on waterfront property, but there is this beautiful river just minutes away from our new home! We live by the water. That thought was a small surprise – the realization that my dream was actually a reality, and I was grateful.
This past Saturday, my wife and I took Allie to the river and were surprised to discover salmon swimming upstream. What an amazing sight to see. Even more amazingly, this was practically happening in our backyard. As we stood there admiring the perseverance and determination of the salmon, swimming against the current on their way to lay their eggs, I was grateful.
There are many great things to be thankful for – a wonderful family, a home to live in, opportunities to pursue our dreams, and the list goes on. But there are also small things to be thankful for – things that are unexpected and unplanned. This Thanksgiving, I pause to be grateful for the small surprises of life.
What small surprises in your life are you grateful for? Share in the comments.