Two weeks after the tornadoes bypassed us, and as the smell of red cabbage and turnip fills the house, I am reminded of the many good things in my life and moved to give thanks for a few of them from this past week. When I’m up to my elbows in my ritual fight to the death with the turkey I might not feel as thankful, so I’d better do this now.
Generosity & New Technology
The week before Thanksgiving, two professors at Carleton University sponsor an annual butterfly show, and I (along with 11,000 of my closest friends) have free (albeit slightly squished) access to enjoy 1,300 individuals of 41 species. And although I’m not a professional photographer or anything close to it, I also have the chance to take photos that my grandparents couldn’t have dreamt of.
First, of course, it’s only courteous to find their good side. The butterflies, not my grandparents. Or the professors.
Generosity & New Things to Learn
Great blue herons stay still for long periods when they’re hunting. When they’re standing in still water, that’s one thing. When they’re standing in or beside rushing water — as this one was at Hog’s Back Falls — it offers new composition opportunities. At least, it does when a photographer friend points out the opportunity: blurring the water with a slow shutter while the bird obligingly doesn’t blur itself.
Pumpkins. On fire. Well, they’re not real pumpkins, and they’re not really on fire. But they’re an amazing light show. Again, thanks to photographer friends who included me in their photo shoot and helped me find better angles.
There’s “generosity in personal effort,” with one friend who helps me with my knitting and another who helps me sort through some physical issues. There’s “generosity of professional effort,” from people who don’t really know me:
- Medical office staff tackled the doctor between real appointments to get the signature I needed.
- A post-office clerk directed me to the closest courier outlet when Canada Post couldn’t meet my schedule.
- A drugstore clerk remembered me this week, as she does on every visit, and hailed me cheerfully.
And so it goes, as it does many weeks. (Well, not necessarily the pumpkins on fire. Not every week.) Now if only I could figure out what all these things have in common, and how I might pay it forward . . .