By Sarah Schrock

Being thankful is both an act of intention and a feeling of emotion when we embrace life’s blessing, wonderment and fulfillment. As a mother I am thankful for the imagination I witness in my kid’s creative play every day. Walking through the Christmas Bazaar at the Community Center, the imaginative creations of local craftspeople leave me in awe.

These crisp, clear nights are one reason of gratitude. Stargazing has been phenomenal lately. Last night while gazing, I saw a shooting star, part of the Leonid Meteor Show.  Witnessing these celestial events is always a bit humbling and begs us to imagine our time and place in the awesome story of our universe.

I was recently informed of Oumuamua, the interstellar mystery that has astronomers debating its origin, even speculation that it could be of alien descent. The object was perceived by telescopes over the past year and identified as an object from another solar system, not typical of a comet or asteroid. The space anomaly has now left our solar system but leaves much to the imagination.

Imagining that an alien ship brushed our solar system and left us without contact, leaves even more to wonderment. I am thankful that our interstellar visitor, be it an oblong space rock or alien craft, was a benevolent tourist. It left us unharmed, didn’t crash into us, set us off our orbit, or invade. It just came and left, leaving a wake of more questions to ask, more to the imagination.

I asked a few people at the Christmas Bazaar what they are thankful for. One respondent said, “I am thankful to go to my granddaughter’s, and not have to cook!” The Liberty Bell High School Lady Lions basketball team selling baked good is thankful for the opportunity to purchase a new shooting machine, for their coaches, and for the opportunity to play. Another is thankful for the time to make new crafts and explore her artistic side.

This year I am especially thankful for surviving the summer wildfires. After the atrocities seen in Paradise, California, this past week, we are so very fortunate that the past years of fire have only resulted in loss of property, not lives. The bad air we have suffered through pales in comparison to what the city of Paradise is facing.

I am also thankful for the Lookout Coalition that is supporting our community members who are facing health care challenges like cancer. The Lookout Coalition supports people with diagnoses and age-related illnesses as they navigate the daunting logistics that come with health care management and the crippling emotions that come with the territory. There is a place for them to go here our valley, and I am thankful for that.

Finally, I am thankful to be from a place that binds us all into a collective pattern made of different threads. Whether we were born here, chose to move here, or found ourselves here by some twist of fate, the Methow weaves us into a fabric that holds us tight, keeps us warm, and wraps us in her arms when we need her to. Everyone’s square is unique in this quilt of gratitude and somehow there’s always room for another patch.


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