Feeling Grateful

Growing up in Portland, the color of Christmas is grey. It sounds depressing but it’s not. The grey is in the background, while the green and silver and white of the holiday are like a special blanket that you wrap yourself in once a year.

As I write this post, five hours inland into rural Australia (which I learned does not qualify as the outback), the thermometer is pushing 90, red rumped parrots are squawking outside, and on a tour of the “backyard” we saw three kangaroos. It is strange and wonderful and a perfect reminder of how fortunate we are. So let’s do some shout-outs!

Right now my stomach is extremely thankful to our friends Katy and Stuart and to Stuart’s parents, Anne and John, for hosting us for Christmas on their farm.

To the staff and volunteer board members at Bark and to Dave Becker: thank you for making our time away from work possible and, more importantly, for working tirelessly to protect our world.

Mom and dad Brown, thank you for takin’ care of business while we play. And mom Haven and dad Tom, thank you for making this trip possible in other ways and for the Skype sessions that keep us feeling loved and supported.

Francisco, thank you for taking care of Lily while we are gone. I hope that her incessant meowing is still endearing.

Lastly, we are unendingly thankful for clean air, clean water, and wild places.

Erin and I have found generosity, respect, and human kindness around every corner. What we have not found are rivers getting cleaner or the air getting clearer and if we are fortunate enough to do this again in 20 years, it is likely that some of the animals that we have seen will no longer exist. While this realization is horribly depressing, for us it also highlights how lucky we are to get to see such amazing things and how important it is that each and every one of us do something to help it out.

Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

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