Thursday, November 22, 2012

What Thanksgiving Means To Me

When we think of Thanksgiving, we usually think of the colonists at Plymouth Rock who had a Thanksgiving feast in their second year on the continent to celebrate the abundant harvest that year, and to share it with “the friendly Indians,” as the colonists referred to them.

After arriving on the Native Americans’ homeland in May of 1620, the first year saw starvation leaving 57 colonists out of 99 to survive the following spring.  And then an amazing thing happened.

“The friendly Indians” came to the colonists as they began to plant the fields. The Native Americans showed the colonists how to plant crops so that their harvest would be abundant.

And in Jamestown, as well, the colonists were short on agricultural skills. And, at their own peril, the Native Americans shared their corn with the colonists several times each winter over the following 3 years, despite the behavior of the colonists over that time. Over and over, Native Americans demonstrated how to co-exist and cooperate, offering peace.

What I see in Thanksgiving is the powerful demonstration of indigenous peoples to recognize the essence that is present in all peoples, even if they look different, sound different, and wear funny clothes with belts on their hats. Native Americans did not come from a place of lack. They know that we are all one, and they celebrated the abundance of the creator by sharing it, knowing that there is more than enough for everyone.

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