Thankful

11 October 2021 – This Thanksgiving Day, I walk down the street in breezy sunlight and, as I approach a corner, memory suddenly tugs. Am I right? Is this the corner with that poem about birds spray-painted on the S/E building wall?

And even if I’m right, spray-paint comes & goes. Will the poem still be there?

I peer eastward around the corner.

I am thankful that I remembered to look, that the poem is still here — and that I still enjoy it. (Revisiting old delights is sometimes a bad idea.)

Later, walking my “Cambie Loop,” I find myself looking for birds above power lines. Not obsessively, you understand, but as part of paying attention to the here-&-now of my walk.

And yes, just past my turning point, just down that spiral staircase from the Cambie Bridge to the south side of False Creek, I do indeed pause in the shade of a tree and look up to watch the dance of birds and power lines.

Only two birds. Not very dramatically criss-crossing anything much.

Ordinary.

But, perhaps because of that poem and the title of this holiday, I think about John O’Donohue’s “eucharist of the ordinary” and I am thankful for these birds and for everything else I have just experienced, these last five kilometres: lots of ordinary people doing a whole range of ordinary things on the paths and on the water, walking/dog-walking/child-walking/hand-holding/bench-sitting/jogging/dawdling/cycling/kayaking/ferry-riding.

All that activity! And all of it in peace and safety.

Oh yes, I am thankful.

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6 Comments

  1. A lovely tribute to the day.

    Reply
  2. Yes! I like the dignity that is “more gracious than the smallness that fuels us with fear and force.” Good thoughts!

    Reply
  3. Would that more of us “Pause for a moment” to reflect on substance (rather than surface).
    I was struck by the name “False Creek” — there must be an interesting story behind that name.

    Reply
    • Thanks, and yes there’s a reason for the name: it isn’t a creek, arising from a water source to empty somewhere else, it is a stubby tongue from a larger body of water, the Burrard Inlet (itself part of Strait of Georgia, in turn part of the Salish Sea, and on it goes, right into the Pacific Ocean…)

      Reply
  4. Thanks for this!

    Reply
  1. Thankful — WALKING WOMAN | Words About

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  • WALKING… & SEEING

    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

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