Gratitude

Harvest time…and celebrations.

There is a fuss nowadays in the US about celebrating Christopher Columbus and since it is close to Harvest Sunday (aka Canadian Thanksgiving) i thought of trying to tie these two together.

Why?

Because both of these celebrations revolve around a people who are completely forgotten and/or diminished by the celebration itself. In the US they are celebrating an opportunist who turned into a tool for Empire (as Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan use the word. also see Living the Questions). I grant that CC was a product of his culture which was vicious and punitive in trying to win souls for Christ. And even saying that my blood boils, curdles–i am repulsed that most of your ancestors and some of mine came out of that social milieu. But i find it nigh to impossible to celebrate that. Christopher Columbus did not DISCOVER anything but a chance to win favour with the people who pulled strings in Europe. And he was aggressive at self promotion … even if it meant killing thousands of innocent victims … and we know that apparently it did.

Now on to “Thanksgiving” which is celebrated in both the US and Canada though at different times in the Fall season. It can certainly be seen as a Harvest Festival especially in light that the Harvest is a celebration that is pretty much universal. And we can also see that those early arrivals who ended up settling (along with all the other colonialisation and appropriation that that entailed) wouldn’t have made it through the winter without some very gracious help in the form of food, shelter, knowledge, and heaps of kindness. Our history books gloss over this and we nod to this generosity by celebrating a day where most over-indulge. Oh goodness! More greed. This seems to be what this celebration has leaned into. More more more! Yes!

Well, it is time to sit down and think on this. Meditate on the roots of the day you are given off your “work” whatever form that may take.

And if/when you do perhaps you can see that there is a better way to celebrate.

I’d like to point you to a few websites that have helped me to see a better way…

1. Susan Werner’s song: “Plenty and then some” (You can even listen to it if you buy her Live at Club Passim CD … which i strongly suggest you do.)

2. Celebrate instead with “Why Honoring Indigenous Peoples Day Matters” because if you are “standing on the side of love” it really really does.

3. Go for a hike! A real hike, boots, backpack, picnic lunch…instead of stuffing the bird and then stuffing your belly. That’s how we’re going to celebrate this year. We’ve done it in the past and it is a refreshing way to connect and/or re-connect to what is truly important. It also feeds your spirit and if feeds your Buddha brain too! Bonus: it is practically free when you factor in the gas $$ (if necessary to get someplace where you can really really hike) and perhaps a park fee.

4. Go out and help somebody get plenty and then some too!

Hope you have a wonderful wonderful day … practicing Sabbath.

I’ll write on Sabbath practice very soon.

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