We don’t have Thanksgiving in South Africa. Not even our own version like the Canadians do. And roasting an entire turkey is a bit unheard of – they don’t fit in most braai’s, and anyway would take way too much charcoal. We just go all in and roast and entire cow if the occasion calls for it.

Wait. That’s not what I wanted to write about.

We don’t celebrate Thankgiving in South Africa. We do celebrate Black Friday (developing country we may be, but that doesn’t mean we’re in any way backwards when it comes to rampant capitalism), but that’s a post for another day. No. Not tomorrow.

As I was saying, Thanksgiving is not really a thing in South Africa, but it’s never a bad thing to have a reminder to be thankful. And I have so much for which to say thank you.

I have a great job, and as much as some stuff we do sometimes infuriates me, I am lucky to work for a great company that both cares for its employees and for the impact it has on the world.

I get to see the world and make friends with people from so many different cultures, backgrounds and walks of life. My world has grown these past two years in a way I wouldn’t have thought possible.

I have a lovely home with a big garden. The house needs a lot of work, and I need to keep a close eye on the garden lest it grows out of control, but we’ve longed for a place of our own for so long it still feels a bit surreal to have it. Sitting next to the braai writing this, listening to the crickets and frogs and feeling the cool evening breeze blow in from the ocean, I can honestly say I want for nothing more.

The ocean. The single greatest, most magnificent and most terrifying part of Creation. That I get to see whenever I want. That my daughter will grow up knowing more intimately than I ever will.

toddler on the beach

The Minion, the sweetest, most beautiful little girl (random strangers walk up to us to tell us that, so I consider it an objective truth) that it’s my privilege and greatest fear to guide through her first few years on this Earth. The fact that I’ve been able to be present for her first words, her first steps, and so many other precious moments that many dads have to miss.

The Missus, who puts up with all my faults to the point that she claims they don’t even exist.

Good music. Good wine. Good food.

The complete quiet at sunrise when I sit in my garden for a few minutes before starting each day.

The fact that despite my inexcusable neglect of this blog, my follower count has been steadily climbing the entire year.

I could probably go on all night listing stuff.

No, I’m not an idealist.

Yes, there are so many things that are bad, but there are so many that are amazing, incredible, awe-inspiring. Whether you’re observing Thanksgiving or not, take a moment to make your own list. Share it in the comments if you want. And let’s celebrate all that is good in our lives before going back to complaining about global warming climate change, the government, disrespectful children, stubborn old people, incompetent drivers, and the neighbour’s dog making a mess on your lawn.

And to those of you in the US, have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and try not to fight too much with your relatives, okay?

6 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Great to read this post! I am very happy for you.

    My list:

    Great family: wife, son, brother, sister, parents and parents-in-law.
    Great job.
    Being able to live in New Zealand and afford our own place.
    Good food I get to eat.
    Oh yeah, coffee!
    And I am sure I forgot at least a few more things.

    Liked by 2 people

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