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It seems of late, at least to me, that Canadians are getting slightly less tolerant, more testy, impatient and even grumpy. I count myself as one. The pandemic with all its related woes has gone on for far too long, climate change is increasingly more real with every fire and flood, the rising cost of living is leaving so many behind, the horrible discovery of children’s graves at residential schools, and the seeming endless reports from around the globe – this time from France – that tally the unspeakable deeds of priests against children, and the accompanying inactions of bishops are emotionally exhausting.

So, for this Thanksgiving blog, I want to focus on the good. For all the multitude of horrors in creation, there also are beauty, love and justice.  

I am grateful for:

The air I breathe, feeding my lungs, in great measure due to the multitude of tiny phytoplankton in the oceans;

My family where love knows no bounds;

All the people working on the front lines, whether delivering food, selling coffee or nursing our illnesses;

Fellow residents of Canada, 72% of whom are fully vaccinated proving their concern for the common good.

The food I have, nourishing my body, and the multitude of farmers who tirelessly grow it;

My colleagues who I see only virtually, but who still manage to make me smile;

All the people working tirelessly, helping to alleviate hunger, eradicate poverty, or tangibly stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in the global South;

Fellow climate activists, teachers and/or researchers, who – despite the seeming insurmountable odds – have not lost hope that we will wean ourselves from fossil fuels reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.  

The roof over my head, keeping me warm and dry, and the engineers that went through gruelling years of study to ensure its structural integrity;

My animal brothers and sisters, whether they fly, slither, jump, run or crawl, as each of them reveals an aspect of God to me;

All the prophets of a new ecozoic era, from Thomas Berry to David Suzuki, from Ilia Delio to Wangari Maathai, for helping us see that it is indeed possible to live in communion with creation not masters but as fellow subjects;

Fellow lovers of sunsets and sunrises, for in their hearts they are witnessing the cyclical miracle that is creation.

The carbon dioxide that maintains my blood pH levels, feeds plants and helps (when not in excess) keep the globe at a temperature so that life can thrive;

My friends who remind me that I am loved just as I am;

All Indigenous traditional teachings and Indigenous ways of knowing the world – which we have scorned for too long through our colonial mentalities – that hold wisdoms for us (when we are ready to listen) on how to live lightly on, and in reciprocity with creation;

Fellow Catholics who foster daily a Church that does justice, loves kindness and walks ever so humbly with our God.

Simon Appolloni is Associate Publishing Director at Novalis. He has a PhD in religion and environmental studies and a Master of Divinity. Simon finds meaning through music, sharing in community and the pursuit of a just and sustainable world.

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