Week of November 25 - An Attitude of Gratitude

Monday, November 24, 2014 4:31 PM | Anonymous

An attitude of gratitude – Thanksgiving

With a full and joyous heart
I acknowledge the blessing of life
And the abundance that surrounds me.

Thanksgiving, the fourth Thursday in November, is an American holiday that is very special to me. Sure, as a child, I was told the happy lie that it was a commemoration of a feast shared by the Puritans and “Indians.”

There may have been a feast. People of the Great Peaceful Nations did indeed greet newcomers with a baked pumpkin. Wild turkey, as well as deer, abound in the Eastern states and are traditionally hunted in late November, or when ice forms on puddles overnight. And, though there were massacres (especially in the West, and on both sides), there was a great deal of cooperation between the “natives” and the “whites” in the East. A feast is not impossible.

But what I actually got from Thanksgiving as a child was vastly different from what I was taught. I wasn’t focused on relations between the settlers and the indigenous peoples, I was focused on relations in my own home. And Thanksgiving brought a lot of different relations – as well as relatives – to my home.

My mother had special china that was used only on Thanksgiving. And special flatware – real silver! – which went with it. Oh, and special glasses too – crystal! Special serving dishes were retrieved from their storage places, washed, and filled with tasty things that weren’t the least bit normal: tiny white pickled onions, crisp whole cucumber pickles smaller than my smallest finger, radish roses, pimento-stuffed green olives, black olives from a can, cheeses from exotic, far-away places.

Dinner was always a special meal at my home. But Thanksgiving dinner, which happened at a different time than all other dinners, was the acme of dinners. Neither Christmas dinner nor Easter dinner, both of which were honored as special events in my childhood home, came close.

Thanksgiving dinner was a holy ritual, a sacrament, that was taking place in my home, in front of me, and that I was actually part of. It made my heart burst with joy.

Whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not, why not make one evening meal special this week? What foods would people who lived where you live now but 300 years ago have eaten? Eating those foods honors the Ancestors, honors the Ancient Ones, honors the Spiral of Life as we spiral into winter. And the easiest of those Ancestor foods to find, and to eat, are the wild foods.

What are you waiting for? Grab you basket, and your coat, and come with me. Let’s pick a Salad of Thanksgiving.

Green blessings are everywhere.

~ Thanksgiving Weed Walk ~

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