In just a matter of hours, it will be December. And the countdown to the end of the year will be on. In actual fact, in some parts of the world it already is, the location of writing now being the west coast of the USA, one of the last locations of our slowly spinning globe to say ‘goodnight’ to the day. Hours, just hours, and the year will be in its T-31 mode, final TO-DO lists for the year being worked through in sweet anticipation of switching off the work part of the day and brain to allow for playtime…until time to toast the new year, and then move back into busyness.

As this time of heightened energy and emotion unfolds, this year, for so many reasons, the need to pause and say a quiet prayer of thanks is greater than ever before. While technically speaking ‘Thanksgiving’ just a few days ago in the USA, with hundreds of millions of Americans at home and around the world raising a glass over a feast shared with friends and family, to give thanks to all that is appreciated all around them, this year, the reasons for the world to stop, and consider, why billions should say thanks, could not be more vivid. In November alone, the mere 30 days of the month made the world’s nervous system stand on edge with reminders of the value of life, love and liberty.

As November unfolded, the month released a damn wall of emotions. With no warning, highs came crashing down.

Initial distraction from the everyday began as the first hours of the month ticked away. Across the globe, in one of the first parts of the world to welcome a new day, the nation of New Zealand was celebrating its historic win of the 2015 Rugby world Cup over neighbours and rivals Australia. The final whistle of the game played in London, England on October 31st would have been a morning victory cry down under. Across the globe, rugby fans felt a surge of energy be injected into November from the start – some celebrating, some commiserating, all united by the spirit of sport.

Into November we go, with its traditional mid-Q4 buzz and busyness, the days ahead viewed through different lenses… This, all while thousands, tens of thousands, of refugees were walking and walking and walking hundreds of miles. Hundreds of miles walked, bused, trained, perilously dangerously sailed, all in desperate hopes of finding a safe place for their exhausted children to sleep – a place they could call home, surrounded by people who would keep them safe each day even if they kept different ways of living  daily life. A human chain of hope, escaping hopelessness. Day after day, mile after mile.  Mapping – The Refugee Flow Towards Europe

And then, in the silence of hours passing with the hum of the everyday, it happened.

First Beirut.

Then Paris.

Then Bamako.

Then Tunis.

Four far-apart, global capital cities. Four moments during which thoughts, hearts, hopes froze. Four attacks, four fractures of peace of mind, in just one month. Landmarks across the globe became canvases for colours of the flags of nations that had recently suffered. Other nations honoured alongside, including Russia, with its loss of souls of nations in the skies up above Sharm.

Nous sommes 1.

Regardless of the date, whether of one flag or another, for millions and millions the world over pausing to give thanks took the form of a prayer than a toast. The seemingly simple things – our homes, our hopes, our health, our happiness, however that be defined, took on intense meaning, profound value. Each and every cell in one’s body suddenly felt awake, hyper-alive, and bruised. Only prayers seemed to sooth. And whispers of thanks.

Across the world, every day, we are reminded of all that we have to be grateful for. Our lives, our loves, our choices, and even our challenges that ultimately reveal our values and valuables. Still, so easily, these blessings are overlooked. Until those moments happen, macro or micro, that force us to stop, look, really look, and see just how much we have to be thankful for.

November, a month now part of 2015’s history, has made painfully clear that aspects of our lives that we can so easily and passively take for granted – what we wake to every day with a high degree of confidence that it will be there tomorrow just where we left them: people, places, possessions. These are the things millions of others are, today, taking on the greatest risks of their lives, the greatest treks of their lives, to even be able to imagine.

As December now steadily ticks towards the toasting of a new year, may our hearts never lose sight of just how blessed we are to be safe, to be home, to be loved.


Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2015