Sunday, October 12, 2008
It is difficult to think of a better place to be in the world on a Thanksgiving weekend than in Central Ontario. As I drove to the market yesterday, the sky's blue was in stark contrast with the burnt yellow leaves of maple trees lining the highway. Falling leaves found their place of rest and there was a sense of feeling very fortunate for the land in which I live.
The hustle and bustle of the market brought a smile to my face as people bought turkeys, potatoes, squash, beets, cranberries, yams, turnips and pies in preparation for their own family dinners... a time to celebrate and give thanks.
In 1578, Martin Forbisher held a formal ceremony in Newfoundland to give thanks for the long journey endured to find the northern passage to the Orient, marking an unofficial origin to the Thanksgiving tradition. But it was really the First Nations who began Thanksgiving by celebrating the harvest through ceremony and dance, giving thanks for the bountiful crops produced each fall. And so, for centuries, people have gathered with friends and family to mark the occasion of autumn harvest - and even if just for a moment, connecting the earth and everything it provides, to the core of what sustains human life.
On the drive home from the market, I tuned in to CBC's DNTO, where Sook-Yin Lee examined the meaning of giving thanks. One segment of the show featured Sook-Yin reading a 'Letter of Gratitude' on air to a friend who had impacted her life. It was one of those rare moments in radio that captured a profound sense of genuineness and realness that tugged strongly at the heart.
And although I'll refrain from gushing too much on a blog, I would like to express thanks to my family... mom, dad, Kristen, Ceanray, Alison, Bryan and Dylan. You have given me hope - an overwhelming desire to make a difference in this world. You have give me support - through letters, kind gestures and conversations. You have given me encouragement - particularly in times of need. You have given me a sense of self - various parts of you have combined to make me who I am. You have given me joy, laughter, and most importantly, love. I would give a lot today to sit down with Ceanray and my new nephew Dylan, and share mom's turkey, mashed potatoes, creamed corn and sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top with the people that I love the most.
Have an extra piece of pie for me...