There’s a lot to be thankful for if you are reading this. You are alive. You are surviving.
It’s been an undoubtedly difficult time for many people and for many different reasons. If you are at all disadvantaged in some way (either through your age, your general health, your ethnicity, job security, relationship security, financial situation or caring responsibilities), the Covid pandemic has just widened that disadvantage and it’s been and continues to be hard. BUT you HAVE survived.
I, too, am disadvantaged in some of these ways and I’ve not found it easy either. I’ve learnt to find joy in small things though and I do think that’s a survival strategy of a kind. Making bread, growing tomatoes, exploring my neighbourhood on foot, watching my garden beginning to flourish. Just feeling the sun on my face.
Throughout most of 2020 and most of this, I was also lucky enough to have work. Despite the chaos outside, I had something else to think about and throw myself into. Over the course of about 9 months last year, while juggling other commissions, I completed a book for children about gratitude filled with poetry, prayers and blessings. For Every Little Thing is publishing on 21st September, World Gratitude Day, thanks to WMB Eerdmans, compiled by Nancy Tupper Ling and June Cotner.
The book takes children through the day from morning to dreamtime, finding small things for which to be thankful.
If you are reading this, you survived. Maybe you are a child or you have them. Maybe you are not and you don’t. Whoever you are, we all need to be thankful right now for many things, all of which are so large in their collective entirety, they’re almost too much to comprehend; the scientists who are coming together from around the world to create the vaccines; the caregivers, hospitals and all frontline workers who are keeping nations going; the millions of people who lock themselves inside, staying far from friends and family and covering their faces to stop the spread of the virus.
And perhaps we also need to be thankful for smaller things – the tomato jungles growing, the smell of bread baking, the discovery of secret green places, the sunny days. It’s not just the large things that have helped us. Be thankful for every little thing that has got us through too.
For Every Little Thing.
For Every Little Thing has been selected for a gold award by The Junior Library Guild.
You can buy For Every Little Thing here.