18th November 2022

Most of us can find something to be grateful for.

Discovering that it had vanished suddenly, I was stunned.

For four years I watched the little tree on the hill opposite, as it grew and went through the seasons. I came to think of it as “my tree” which obviously it was not.

But it was another friend.

So I am thankful that I appreciated it.

Though I still cannot believe I failed to notice its absence for two days!

18th November (right), tree had finally shed its leaves

23rd October

and looked rather bashed about, but how?


There are endless things to be thankful for.

When I set my mind thinking this way, my thoughts often go to Anne Frank whose story touched me when I was very young:

“I still believe, in spite of everything that people are really good at heart.”

If she felt this, after all she experienced, how could I be less generous?

It is true I have often wondered whether she still held her belief when she succumbed to typhus at Bergen-Belsen in 1945.

Perhaps it is the sad fact of Anne Frank’s death only months before the camps were liberated, that etched its tragedy into my brain.

It is our duty, I have always thought, those of us who survive wars and so many other disasters, to live fully and to be grateful for the mere fact of drawing breath.

It is often hard to remember this, when our lives go in different ways than we intend. It is only human to become overwhelmed in the face of severe adversity. One bad situation often begets another.

When you cannot pay the rent, when you have to choose between heating the house or feeding the family, when you are sick but cannot afford medical care, when you must flee your homeland, how then are you to be grateful?

People are faced by any number of ghastly situations every day and I would never expect them to be grateful for life. Yet many still manage to be just that.

This is why I remind myself to take joy in small things and especially in things we take for granted. There are so many of those.

Running water. Hot water. Electricity…

That list is endless.

Eyesight. How else would I be able to enjoy the beautiful birds in my garden? Or the Fall leaves?

What if I could not hear bird song? Or the music I love?

Mostly I am so grateful for the presence of animals in my life, for however long they can stay.

And when they must go, though my heart will shatter into little bits, I will still be grateful for all the joy they brought me.

And for the memories that I carry in my heart.

4 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Kind of makes you wonder about the tree … can you get closer to see where it stood (or is it on someone’s land)?
    And yes, I will always hold on to Anne Frank’s words … thanks for the reminder.

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