November 22, 2017

Dear you,

Almost as much as I love that there’s a class called Ocean Optimism, I love that there are people who study gratitude. Can’t you imagine what a fantastic office that would be to work in? What kind of Thanksgiving party do they throw themselves? It must ooze with gratitude and appreciation from the food they serve to the toasts they make.

Anyway, check out all these good things about gratitude brought to you by people who study it. Maybe you can guess why I’m proposing that we think about gratitude this week.

This week is also a really good time to talk about what this holiday is really all about. I’m inspired by President Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” speech from 2008 in which he describes how we are constantly reshaping, redefining, and improving the values and practices of this country. He says, “‘We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.’ … a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America’s improbably experiment in democracy.” It is, and we are, a work in progress.

And in that spirit, I invite you watch this film:

Watch on Vimeo and Facebook

My hope is that this film sweeps you off your feet and places you on top of a mountain that was not accessible to the public for over 60 years. The mountain is Mt Umunhum which stands 3,486 feet tall between San Jose, California and the Pacific Ocean. To restore the top of Mt Umunhum and open it to the public, Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District collaborated with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band with an open mind and open arms. The results of this collaboration are deeply meaningful for those involved, and they are visually stunning for anyone who visits the peak of Mt Umunhum.

And my hope is that this film will inspire you to think about the land under you and how you can contribute to its restoration and healing. How can we continue to evolve and improve our country and this place we call home?

I also hope that you have a lot of delicious food, good conversations and connections with family and friends, and time outside this Thanksgiving. Whatever your situation, there is a lot to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving,