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Thanksgiving Thoughts

Thanksgiving.    Is there a holiday that embodies more of America than Thanksgiving?

The positives of gathering together with friends and family, giving thanks for all that is good in our lives, our health, our prosperity.  The ability to appreciate the past, what has been provided for us, no matter how little or how great.  The food is the best it will ever be.  People are as nice as they will ever be.  Even the crazy uncle gets a hug on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving represents, in many ways, the suspension of worry, replaced with love.

However, then there is the contradiction of all of this positivity being set against a backdrop of the forced removal of Native Americans.  The eradication of the first people to inhabit these lands.  And the realization that this contributed, in some way or another, to the abundance that we enjoy and celebrate today.  That’s history.  An inconvenient history, but history nonetheless.

And of course, now….what could be more American than football, more football, and shopping?  Thanksgiving 2.0.

But Thanksgiving is America.  The good, the bad, the spiritual, the materialistic, the generous and the conflicted.  All wrapped into one.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from beautyful ones…

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…and Happy Thanksgiving from some of the original Americans:

 

A THANKSGIVING PRAYER FROM THE IROQUOIS (SENECA) PEOPLE

Gwa! Gwa! Gwa!
Now the time has come!
Hear us, Lord of the Sky!
We are here to speak the truth,
for you do not hear lies,
We are your children, Lord of the Sky.

Now begins the Gayant’ gogwus
This sacred fire and sacred tobacco
And through this smoke
We offer our prayers
We are your children, Lord of the Sky.

Now in the beginning of all things
You provided that we inherit your creation
You said: I shall make the earth
on which people shall live
And they shall look to the earth as their mother
And they shall say, “It is she who supports us.”
You said that we should always be thankful
For our earth and for each other
So it is that we are gathered here
We are your children, Lord of the Sky.

Now again the smoke rises
And again we offer prayers
You said that food should be placed beside us
And it should be ours in exchange for our labor.
You thought that ours should be a world
where green grass of many kinds should grow
You said that some should be medicines
And that one should be Ona’o
the sacred food, our sister corn
You gave to her two clinging sisters
beautiful Oa’geta, our sister beans
and bountiful Nyo’sowane, our sister squash
The three sacred sisters; they who sustain us.

This is what you thought, Lord of the Sky.
Thus did you think to provide for us
And you ordered that when the warm season comes,
That we should see the return of life
And remember you, and be thankful,
and gather here by the sacred fire.
So now again the smoke arises
We the people offer our prayers
We speak to you through the rising smoke
We are thankful, Lord of the Sky.

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