There are a few holidays that we celebrate in the US that don’t resonate with me. Columbus Day, commercialized Christmas, & Thanksgiving. “Thanks Giving” is a great concept; however, our version of it is a bit Euro-centric, to say the least.
I recently discovered a book titled 1621 Thanksgiving: A New Look, published by the National Geographic Society. It caught my eye because it’s so different from the Thanksgiving books I was exposed to as a child. Instead of a group of Pilgrims dominating the cover, this book has a beautiful photo of a Native American woman on the front. It was written by the Plimoth Plantation (that’s how it’s spelled in the book) in collaboration with the Wampanoag Indian Program Advisory Committee. Wow!!! A book about Thanksgiving that Native American people co-wrote. I eagerly devoured the story, confirming that it isn’t the pilgrim-version of Thanksgiving that I want to celebrate… it’s the Wampanoag-version of “Thanks Giving” that speaks to my spirit. Thanksgiving isn’t a holiday; it’s a way of living in gratitude all year long.
I don’t need to wait until the 4th Thursday in November to express gratitude for all those I love dearly, my health, my cozy home, my backyard retreat that nourishes both people & native wildlife, art, Mother Nature, & countless other things that mean so much. My Thanks Giving ritual will occur far more often.
May you have a happy Thanksgiving & many reasons to give thanks every day of the year!
I absolutely love the cool, clear blue mornings of September that herald the coming of Autumn. With my coffee mug in hand, I wander past my herbs to the vegetable patch & grape vines. Blisters & sweat that created this garden are all but forgotten as I recall the taste of our first crisp green beans. I laugh, remembering our pitiful attempt to keep birds off the blueberry bushes. When I moved here, I prayed… I’ll provide food & protection for wildlife if you bless us all with a bountiful harvest. Sometimes, it’s equal… sometimes the birds & rabbits get more 🙂 This year, no one went hungry & for that, I’m truly grateful.
September 23rd is the Autumnal Equinox, marking the beginning of harvest celebrations around the world (Mabon, Chuseok, & Thanksgiving to name a few). As I grow spiritually, it’s difficult to celebrate Thanksgiving as it began around 1620 in the colonies. Not a proud time in our nation’s history, if you know what I mean. How can I give thanks in a way that’s meaningful today?
I’m grateful for my boyfriend who toiled in the soil with me, the animals who pollinate & aerate, the friends & family who share my life, & my ancestors who taught me the basic truth, ‘Everything tastes better fresh from the garden.” To show my gratitude, I’ll prepare a meal made of local foods, offer my thanks before we eat, & renew my vow to compost & garden organically.
What are you thankful for? Show your gratitude for the Earth’s bounty by growing something to eat, even if it’s in a pot on a windowsill… no home is too small. Whatever you do, make your harvest celebration meaningful for you & those you love. Blessings!