Thankful for Connections

Fall trees with colourful leaves framing a path

With our bellies now full of turkey and pumpkin pie and our souls topped off with moments of connection, we can sigh in relief, loosen our belts and reflect on all we truly have to be thankful for. Holiday time has been cherished over the ages as a time to slow down, gather loved ones, share stories and memories of the past while creating new ones, all while rounding a table set with a feast that took a day to prepare.

This year, very little is as it was and has been unpredictable at best. Our “regular” days not so regular, and beloved holiday traditions once passed down for generations and eagerly anticipated, have taken a (hopefully brief) hiatus. So how do we celebrate? What is there to do? Chances are your Thanksgiving was different in one way or another. Maybe you ate your meals together but miles apart by live streaming. Perhaps your guest list was smaller, or you decided to leave it to the professionals and enjoyed an intimate sit-down restaurant. How do we feel that connection? One way we can start is by reflecting, being present and being thankful for what surrounds us close to home.

A couple rests from biking the trails

How lucky are we as Red Deerians, to be able to glance into our backyard and know that we have an infinite amount of connections available to us at any moment of the day. How many can call their home a city in a park?  Connecting with nature is easy here, with hundreds of kilometres of trails zig-zag the city and even connecting us to surrounding communities. We can be thankful for the opportunity to lose ourselves in natural spaces with leafed canopies and vast blue skies overhead with the conveniences of the city waiting just beyond.

people at a restaurant

Rather than trying to escape for the weekend or longer, maybe connecting with community is an opportunity we all could indulge in a little more. Red Deer is home to a myriad of culture, food and activity, featuring the creative talents of artisans and musicians to chefs and brewers, not to mention the adventurers and entrepreneurs, which chose Red Deer as their canvas. We are thankful for the captivation of live music, the accessibility to locally grown or handmade products, and the luxury of tasting and sipping our way through the restaurants, pubs and cafes. Any day of the week opportunities like these and more are available all across the region, just waiting to be experienced.

Yes, this year has been a little different, but it has also been enlightening, maybe even humbling. Staying close to home has allowed us to reconnect with what surrounds us and to appreciate and support the community we can be proud to call our own. Have you explored Red Deer’s backyard yet?

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