Thanksgiving reminds me of all those turkeys we drew in elementary school. It reminds me of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem, “The Concord Hymn,” a choral response reading that my 1963 eighth grade American History class practiced for a school program that never happened because John F. Kennedy was assassinated that year.
Thanksgiving reminds me of Three Sisters, a planting method of the Cherokee and Iroquois involving planting together corn, beans that climb up the stalks of the corn and provide nurturing nitrogen to the soil, and squash, a spreading plant that keeps the soil moist and the weeds out.
Thanksgiving reminds me of the days and days my mother spent planning and cooking amazing meals for the many people that gathered around our table every year. My daddy would always say, “Thank you, Ellen. This is good eats”, a small joke because mother could not stand bad grammar. Thanksgiving reminds me of fine Thanksgiving guests, people past and present, their stories, their hugs and their lessons.
Thanksgiving reminds me that the gloves are off, Christmas is truly right around the corner, and now is the time to sit back, relax and be grateful for family, friends, good friends and good food.
I had a conversation with a lady from Australia the other day and the topic turned to Thanksgiving. She said she was envious of our holiday, she said she wished her country would have a day to simply remember gratitude, a day to gather with family and friends, a contented day. I told her I’m very happy we have this holiday. I’m proud to live in a country that at least once a year remembers to give thanks, to remember our ancestors, a day to store up on hugs, family, friends and, oh yes, turkey.
To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.” – Johannes A. Gaertner