Wherever in the world you are, and no matter when your local harvest festival, this is a year to remember gratitude.

In America most of us are hunkering down with our housemates – the same housemates we’ve had since March – around a pared-down Thanksgiving feast.  Outside the foreseen autumn flood of pandemic pours through our streets while a coming storm of climate change builds all around us.

Easy to find yourself a bit on the miserable side, I’ve been there.

If you’ve ever fasted for any amount of time, you know your body goes through different stages of hunger, from the first flicker of ‘lack’ on the tongue to the deep pull in the gut itself.

In the first flush of social distancing, we all discovered Zoom and the delights of lateral networks, and that slaked our initial thirst for ‘touch’.

Electronics aside, we are undergoing a sustained fast on real social contact, and I for one have watched my ‘hungers’ for people-time change, and this Thanksgiving I am feeling the lack of hugs from my frequent visits to friends right to the pit of my stomach.

All the more reason to remember the sources of support.

As we grapple with a viral mystery of nature, we can look outside – or walk outside if you can – to bathe in the mystery of trees, of air moving, of the moon pulling the tides, of the light bent at sunset, that the first star you’re seeing is happening centuries ago.

Bathe in the mystery of your own body, still putting one foot in front of the other in spite of all you’ve done with it.  That your 50 trillion cells have coordinated their way through another day without failing you, that they allow you eyes and ears and a sense-maker between them.

We all feel the lack of touch, but moving is a way of touching yourself from the inside.  I look forward to a renaissance of touch when this virus is behind us, but meanwhile I am learning to tune in to the feelings – those deeper animal contact hungers – that allow one to peer into the inner abyss of loneliness.

Lonely we were in our pre-COVID ambitions; lonely we are in our mid-COVID isolation – but the promise of reconnection, being newly ‘in touch’ – must sustain us through these bound-up times.  Crises can engender unexpected benefits – might we end loneliness when this is done?

— Tom Myers, Clark’s Cove, Maine