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October 2018
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December 2018

November 2018

Thanksgiving

 

So Many Reasons to Give Thanks

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Colorful autumn hues spread across the forests

White snow conceals the green grass of the field

Leaves scatter the frosted ground

The orange pumpkins begin to rot, which signals late November

Wild turkeys graze the vast land with the occasional gobble

Orchards share their rich produce

Thanksgiving marks the end of autumn and the start of winter

 

For Thanksgiving brings all people together

All religions, ethnicities, and beliefs

Celebrated in Canada, United States, Caribbean islands, and Liberia

This holiday does not divide people, but rather brings people together

Whether it's Pilgrims and Natives, new friends and old friends, or anyone

 

A time of thankfulness

A time of forgiveness

A time of happiness

For me Thanksgiving is a time of family and traditions

A time to gather around the table

Thanksgiving is the expression of gratitude

Having the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness

 

This year as Thanksgiving rolls around

Never take for granted the time with others

Thanksgiving is a special time to enjoy

Make Thanksgiving last more than a day

Cherish what you have

Realize what you have is a lot

I am thankful, are you?




The Power of Hard Times

 

A Story of Recovery

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“You may have had unfair things happen to you, but the depth of your pain is an indication of the height of your future.”

~ Joel Osteen

    The best lessons are learned through hardship. I experienced my own hardship when I was injured in the fall of 7th grade, but looking back I can see it taught me powerful life lessons. It was a typical autumn afternoon and I was at club soccer practice. After warm ups, I was having persisting pain in my right shin. I tried stretching but I had a dull ache that wouldn’t go away and hurt when I bent or moved my leg. After the practice finished, the pain continued long into the night and the days that followed. Surprised by how long the pain was lasting, the decision was made to get an X-ray followed by an MRI. At Children’s Hospital, they slid me inside a tube for the 30 minute scan and we were told they would follow-up in a few days; however, before we got home, the doctor called explaining my injury was more serious than they had expected. The hospital indicated I had one of the worst cases of stress fracture in both shins that they had seen in a while. For six weeks, I hobbled around on crutches that made my legs feel better, but my arms feel worse. At the time, I felt sorry for myself. But, looking back, there was something powerful that came out of this hardship. I learned I could lean on friends - in fact I needed to - and they were there for me. I learned how lucky I was to not have something more serious or life-threatening, and how satisfying it was to be pain-free. I realized that being able to play sports was a gift, and that as hard as it was not to be able to run around, in time the pain would pass and the injury would heal. There are many ways to gain life lessons and while hardship might not be the preferred method, it is reassuring to know that something good can come out of something bad—if you look for it.





Power of Place

 

The Field
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Time seems to stop in certain places”

~ Jacqueline Bisset

    There is something powerful about a place that despite having witnessed both your ups and downs, still holds a special place in your heart. Reynolds Athletic Field, otherwise known as Home Turf, is that place for me. A few feet past Fenn’s white buildings and bordered by rows of evergreens lies a 160’ by 53’ plot of green turf. This is my second home - a home that has brought a lot of joy, pain and disappointment. On an overcast afternoon in late-October, this field hosted the Fenn Varsity soccer game against the Rectory School. It was slated to be an easy game, and yet it was a nail biter and full of frustration and anger. In the 36th minute Rectory’s striker slotted a clean shot to the bottom right corner, 0-1. What followed was a series of trash talking which angered our team. The halftime talk helped us refocus and become more determined. It was almost like a spark was ignited in our team. After a corner kick ball was sent into the box the fight for the ball became a fight between teams and the referee sent both teams back to their benches to calm down. When the game resumed, a tripping offense led to a free kick just 5 yards outside the box. The ball was kicked to the left of Rectory’s wall and curved into the net, 1-1. With just 10 minutes left to silence the opposing team, a Rectory defender headed the ball and from the centerline of the field, our right back sent a long shot that slipped over the keeper and into the goal. Our bench emptied as everyone charged the field to celebrate. Driving home after the game, I was struck by the range of emotions I felt on the field that day. There were real highs and demoralizing lows and yet that field held a powerful place in my heart. Most people have a powerful place, somewhere of great joy, good memories and accomplishment or a place that reminds them of sad and heavy times. Or, like me, they may have a  powerful place may hold all of these emotions and that is pretty powerful, too.