Any study of American history uncovers the myths many of us were taught as the reason for celebrating Thanksgiving. There was no peaceful feast between “Pilgrims” and local tribes. History reports near the date of the so called “first Thanksgiving” there was actually a massacre of native people. Thus, to many Native Americans it is a day of mourning.
However, a day for giving thanks, to show gratitude for the harvest, is a tradition celebrated by the tribes of North America (long before the arrival of the Puritans, who did not dress in black clothes with big buckles). Many cultures around the world have such a day at the end of the harvest season.
I have long considered Thanksgiving a day of gratitude, to go deeper into an appreciation and acknowledgement for the blessings and gifts in our lives.
My favorite aspect of Thanksgiving is the peacefulness, often felt as people slow down a bit. I love being out in Nature (a persistent cold and predicted below freezing temperatures might keep my Nature appreciation through the windows this year).
Several years ago we had our last Thanksgiving with local family members before their lives began in another state. It included a quiet walk by a river and a shared meal. A memory I cherish. Another special Thanksgiving memory occurred after several years of an illness that kept me from eating solid foods. Around Thanksgiving I began to “recover” and made a veggie soup, filled thermoses, and walked into an empty park with Mike to a bench over looking the salt water. One of best Thanksgiving meals and memories ever!
If Thanksgiving is a busy time for you, perhaps take a few moments to stop and think what you are most grateful for. Perhaps create new traditions, ones that might honor those for whom this day in history is not one to be celebrated. For example, a good friend of mine will be visiting a local tribal museum.
My gratitudes? I am grateful for the unconditional love and support of my husband, grateful for the land where I’m fortunate enough to live, for the spiritual guidance in my life, for long time and new friends, and at this very challenging time for me, for the constant companionship of a furry buddy who sticks by me even in my darkest hours. Blessings come in all shapes, sizes and species!
May your Thanksgiving be filled with love and blessings, and perhaps 2-legged or 4-legged friends.
related past posts: