Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thankful and Mindful

                                                                                 


    I'm a fan of Thanksgiving--when considered as a harvest festival and a gathering of family and friends. Uncontaminated by the pressure of gift-giving and/or religious observations, it's a nice holiday.

But I'm not talking about the sanitized Thanksgiving version I was taught in primary school, complete with Pilgrims in tall black construction paper hats and friendly Indians in construction paper feather headdresses, cheerfully sharing food with the same people who were stealing their land and would massacre and enslave many of them.


I've read too much history to be able to think of that version with anything but contempt and sadness.  This place we call our farm was once a hunting ground for the Cherokees--they left artifacts that turn up after plowing.  The government "removed" them to make way for white settlers.

I think mindfulness of this history is appropriate today--along with thankfulness. Bountiful food, friends and family all come together yet another year.  In my case, there's a bit of ancestor remembrance too as I make my grandmother's cranberry gelatin salad and her pumpkin chiffon pie and pull out extra silverware from John's family to add to what we already use.

This year we'll be sixteen at table, including a niece and a grandniece I haven't seen in years, as well as another grandniece I don't believe I've met, old friends, assorted in-laws, and various co-persons.

It's too good an occasion to skip. But I'll skip the happy Pilgrims and accommodating Indians and be thankful for what we have--while remembering . . .


5 comments:

KarenB said...

I love Thanksgiving, too, and have also struggled with the mythology of the Happy Indians who helped the Pilgrims survive and then faded quietly into the distance. We'll be talking about the realities at our table as an acknowledgement and my daughter has suggested reading Braiding Sweetgrass, which I'm going to get and read. It sounds like a book you also would be interested in: "Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants is a 2013 nonfiction book by American professor Robin Wall Kimmerer and published by Milkweed. The book is about alternative forms of Indigenous knowledge outside of traditional scientific methodologies."

Vicki Lane said...

That sounds good, Karen. Putting it on my Christmas wish list.

MarthaV said...

Sounds like a wonderful family Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving to you all! We are thankful that you are part of our family too!

Barbara R. said...

I've been watching the 75th Asheville Thanksgiving parade on TV...for my first time. It's so fun to see our local people going by in different groups. Have a great time with all the family!

Anvilcloud said...

Good post. Enjoy your feast. It's a large one, but anything is large for our small clan.