This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful for what animals have taught me about gratitude - not just the cats who share my home, and the ones I'm fostering outside, but those whose gifts are part of our celebrations and connected to our lives without our notice or appreciation. Today, I want to stop and say thank you.
- Thank you to the birds who line up by species on the neighbor's roof and take their share from the feeder without conflict.
Lesson Learned: If we share, there is enough for all.
- Thank you to the squirrels who peer through the windows as I move through my house and call to me as I cross the yard.
Lesson Learned: Make time to play joyfully.
- Thank you to the skunk who found a corner of my basement and died graciously.
Lesson Learned: Death is easy, if you remember you're going to your real home.
- Thank you to my childhood pets - the nameless Easter gift chicken in family movies who taught me in retrospect that he was not really a toy, the stray cat who came into our home to have her kittens, and Titan, the livery horse who allowed me to ride him every week and has forgiven me for not saying goodbye when we moved.
Lesson Learned: Animals help us learn to love, and forgive us for our clumsy mistakes.
- Thank you to Boo, my shelter cat for 19 years, who opened the door to animal communication.
Lesson Learned: Our animals will tell us what they need, and how to help them die without guilt - if we ask them.
- Thank you to the Thanksgiving turkey on the table, and the animals who provide our food and clothing.
Lesson Learned: Animals willingly provide for us, asking only that we take their lives respectfully and with dignity.
As you celebrate Thanksgiving, take a moment to be grateful for what our animal friends, companions, and all species with whom we share this planet have to teach us. They provide these lessons consciously, without ego, and with the highest purpose - to honor the sacred connection between all living things, and the Spirit of Creation that lives within each of us.
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