It was Lori who awakened me to the idea of Thanksgiving as a Harvest Festival.
Jon has a weekly Zoom meeting with seven or eight people who read his blog. I sometimes join in. I knew some of the people from my own blog, but met others too. And this is different because we actually get to see and talk to each other.
Idea’s about what Thanksgiving means to each of us and how we chose to spend it were circulating around on Wednesday. Interestingly everyone had a different way of celebrating.
But when Lori said that traditionally, in many place around the world, a day of harvest was celebrated this time of year, I immediately got the image of the paper cornucopia decorations that my mother would hang in the window.
And something clicked.
I don’t enjoy most holiday. Since I can remember I’ve been trying to make sense of them. Growing up, if someone had asked me, I would have said that Thanksgiving was about eating. For years, I would make a pumpkin pie and my then sister-in-law would make a pumpkin pie. Someone else would make an apple pie. There just wasn’t enough of us to eat all that pie especially two of the same.
I can’t imagine what we were thinking.
So I gravitated to the idea that Thanksgiving, as its name implies was about being grateful. That’s nice, I thought I can do that. But by then I’d given up on the whole Pilgrim and Indian myth, so the timing became a mystery.
But a harvest festival….giving thanks for the years harvest that would sustain us through the winter, even if it’s no longer true for so many of us, now that makes sense to me.
It was short notice for this year, but I think understanding that, for me, there really is meaning in the day, made me want to take it more seriously. Not to ignore it as I wished to do in the past, but make it special.
So when Jon came home with two bags full fish (everything from lobster tails to fish cakes that will last much longer than one meal ) from Earth and Sea in Manchester Vermont, I suggested we have the last of the potatoes from my garden and the surviving kale that is still growing.
And so far Jon and I are doing well at making this a holiday that has meaning for us. Which means being together and present for each other. And partaking in the gift of the farm and animals who are such a big part of our lives.
We slept late then visited with the sheep and donkeys. We drank hot Cacao under the apple tree while the hens pecked around our feet and Fate stalked Zip who was in Jon’s lap.
Later this afternoon, we’ll read and soon have our harvest festival dinner of lobster tail, rosemary potatoes and crispy kale. I have some bananas in the freezer and I’m thinking about making some banana muffins too.
So to everyone reading this, however you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving and whatever meaning you find in it, I hope you have a good one.