What are you thankful for?

A number of Taoseños were asked what defines their gratefulness at this time of year


‘Tis the season to reflect on gratitude, and to pose the question, “What are you thankful for?” Here’s what some of our friends and neighbors had to say in response:

 Annette Arellano, writer and educator

“I am thankful for my wonderful children, including the ones that I teach and have taught. Each one of you knows that you have touched my heart in one way or another. I am thankful for all of you who have made a difference in my life. I am especially thankful for many of my friends and family who have helped me get through all the craziness this past year. I am thankful for the strength and energy that God has given to me to keep going, and especially for creating this wonderful Taos, N.M., where I live peacefully.”

Emily Wilde, photographer

“The usual — joy, adventure, drama, tragedy … life. Too simple? Okay:

To be perceptive/ observant. To be humble. To have compassion. To be patient.

To understand that perfection is not achieved but observed.

To be wise enough to know I know nothing.

To NOT have hate or fear in abundance.

To know balance. To be grounded. To be confident.

To be a part of a society. To be a part of a family. To love. To be loved. To grow. To create. To have purpose. To contribute.

To appreciate beauty, and everything is beautiful.

To be alive. Life … I am less than a drop in the bucket and I am, indeed, grateful (thankful) for it.”

Mary Bruschini, musician, educator, founder/ director of Taos Gospel Choir

“All the wildlife that I get to see from my window. Salamanders, and the roadrunner that’s in my yard, and the birds and the quail and occasional coyote who stares at me through my window. And the snakes and owls and magpies. That’s what happens when you plant trees — I come out and the trees start to rustle, full of life.”

David Garver, actor, musician

“I am most thankful for my family. Their love is such a grounding force. And being a Grandpa could not be richer. A deep and profound blessing, the love of a grandchild.”

Michael McCormick, gallery owner and impresario

“I am thankful for, ah, all the people around who are thankful for all the stuff they have until they lose it. That and good red wine and sweet bulldog puppies! Oh, and my wife’s incredible cooking and that’s it, except for ... the ‘Brothers of the Mellon’ and of course the secrets of the Cabala and my grandma’s little grey pills she would give me for my headaches and my mother and sister and brother-in-law and friends and enemies and, of course, being alive, because I love Pizaños pizza! But especially my grandfather, who would let me sell any asparagus from after-church pickin’ that we had left over after distributing to the local food pantries and homeless shelters. There was never much left except very warm, good mellow feelings in my stomach. And that is the rest of the story, my fellow aliens!”

Jeff Carr, educator and political candidate

“I am thankful for my family and that I actually have the honor of a chance to serve New Mexico as Lt. Governor.”

Leonor Morrow, student and poet

“In the midst of deadlines, papers and exams, it can be hard to find time to reflect. Despite the fact that Thanksgiving is coming up, it can be hard to be thankful; even though this is the beginning of the end of the semester, there seems to be more to do now than at the start. So I’m glad to have this opportunity to express my thoughts, and to be thankful. Right now, I’m thankful for clementines. For crisp autumn days, even as they fade into winter. I’m thankful for apple cider and hot chocolate. I’m of course thankful for friends and family, especially my parents who recently came to visit me. I’m thankful for my wonderful boyfriend, who is always so supportive of me and constantly reassuring even when I’m most uncertain. And I’m thankful for the ability to send my thoughts into the world, and thankful to those who listen.”

Ryan Maestas, actor-singer

“Good friends, great company, quality time with myself and with my boyfriend.”

Corrina Llopart, performing artist

“I am thankful for the community in which I live. I formed some the most meaningful friendships of my life right here in Taos. In the six years I have lived here, I have found myself in the midst of some of the most powerful, passionate and loving women (and some men) who have remained patient and accepting of me for the human being that I am. It is the most supportive community I could ask for. A little secret, I’m not exactly an easy person to get to know. That being said, I am thankful for the one person who knows me best: my father, David Llopart. A man who has taken my side no matter the situation, and found any way possible to support me, even when he didn’t agree with my choices. Without his enduring understanding and love, I could not have overcome the darker side of my early years or achieved the satisfactions I now have in my life.”

Ryan Allais, opera singer and educator

“Firstly, I am grateful for my family and their continued support in every decision I make and for their encouragement to pursue my dreams. Secondly, I am thankful for all of those who have helped and supported me in my career. This goes well beyond the financial support! It is always great to see friendly faces whether I am singing, conducting or teaching. Third, I am truly appreciative of all of my friends, those from elementary school on up into my graduate studies, from middle school band through opera productions. Thank you to all of my teachers over the years for continually inspiring me to do my absolute best and to not settle for less. I am thankful to be alive, singing opera, sharing my passion with others, and most of all, I am thankful for my Taoseño roots that provided my foundation for success in not only my career but in life. When the spirits of mountain call, I will always listen.”

Michael Hyatt, muralist, stone-worker and maker of magical artifacts

“I am grateful for my life, I love my life …”