By Jeff Osmundson
As you read this message the month of November is probably nearly gone. November can be our rainiest month and, at least for me, it is the month when the waning daylight seems most obvious. We have lost daylight savings time and possibly started the countdown to winter solstice. For some people the short days and long nights are to be endured rather than enjoyed. Perhaps those are just some of the reasons that November has been dubbed National Gratitude Month. It is just a little easier to shake off the doldrums and winter blues if we use November as a month to begin a new practice of gratitude. Those of us fortunate enough to have the time, energy and resources to be part of Skagit Audubon and enjoy personal birding trips, Audubon field trips and our many hiking opportunities owe thanks to those that went before us and that are currently organizing and arranging those activities.
As weather and fortitude allow, we can get out and appreciate our world class winter birding. There are geese by the thousands and swans by the hundreds, not to mention raptors and ducks galore. Throw in a few types of winter shorebirds and you have the makings of a wonderful winter day. Neil O’Hara reminded us at our last regular meeting that November can be a month when we review and plan our yearly giving. Sometimes the act of giving our resources or our time can be the best demonstration of our gratitude. Most of us will probably gather with family or friends for the tradition of Thanksgiving Day. We will probably gather to share a meal and express our thanks for the year and our hopes for the future. November, as gratitude month, can help remind us that gratitude is not just a day, or even just a month, but can become a habit and lifestyle.
There is an old saying credited to C. Neil Strait, “He who forgets the language of gratitude can never be on speaking terms with happiness.”