To call this year “trying” is an understatement. There really is no way around it these days. When I set out to write this, I found myself immediately wondering if there was a way to avoid talking about COVID-19. I tried and then tried, again. There wasn’t a good way around it. I mean, there was a way, but it rang tone-deaf. It felt a bit shallow.
As Americans carve into their Thanksgiving turkeys (or whatever you choose to celebrate with) today, they do so with unusual caution and concern. Feelings not usually associated with a day of fellowship, gratitude, and harmony. Honestly, it’s pretty darn easy these days to get caught up inside negative thought cycles.
But, that is not what today has to be about. Quite the contrary, actually. Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time for us to come together and to contemplate our lives, touching base with what we are grateful for. Perhaps, Thanksgiving 2020, could serve as an opportunity for all of us to stare ‘trying’ in the face and exercise gratitude regardless. Even in the midst of everything, there is still so much to be mindful of. To be humbled by. To be grateful about. And to give thanks for.
Our families and our friends – Whether you can be with your families and friends today, or find yourself coming together on a computer screen, know they are still there for you, and you for them. It is important to be mindful having these folks is a special gift, and by sharing the human experience we lift each other up. We need it. For our families and friends, let us show gratitude.
Our health – Good health is something that should never be taken for granted. If we have been fortunate to maintain good health, especially during this trying year, let us be appreciative of good fortune.
Our livelihood – This year has been difficult for many people across the globe. If we are so lucky as to be in a position where we have a meal to share today, in a house that keeps us warm and comfortable, let us be humbled.
So, today, as the traditional holiday season kicks off, let us all find time to contemplate, and to be mindful of what we are blessed by. Let us all be humbled by what we have, knowing some do not. Let us not waste time concerning ourselves with what we feel we may lack. Let us, with all our hearts, give Thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving from Backcountry Journeys!
Kenton Krueger has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers, and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Katmai, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands National Parks, as well as internationally in Costa Rica & Brazil. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, former pilot, and spent roughly five years writing and photographing for the award-winning Omaha World-Herald newspaper, out of his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of trip leading and guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens, to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.