Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I think permies, perhaps more than most people, have a particularly strong sense about what Thanksgiving is really all about.  I want to briefly share my thoughts about Thanksgiving with you before the holiday.

Despite what I believe most people were taught about Thanksgiving in American schools, it has nothing to do with Native American's helping out the Pilgrims during hard times.  And I disagree that it, in the words of President Obama, is a "quintessentially American holiday."  I think when and how we celebrate it now is probably very American, but Thanksgiving is "quintessentially" a fall harvest festival.

To me, Thanksgiving is about celebrating the bountiful harvest of the fall, when the plants go nuts because the oppressive heat of the summer sun has finally subsided, and they can finally flourish.  Thanksgiving is a celebration of growing enough during the good days to be able to make it through the colder, darker days of winter.  Thanksgiving is about family and community, because it originated with families and communities feasting in celebration of their hard work, the bounty that hard work has brought to them, and the fact that the most grueling harvesting work of the year is finally over.  I believe Thanksgiving is probably known as Thanksgiving precisely because it is very natural, after the hard but bountiful fall harvest, to reflect back on everyone and everything it took to accomplish that harvest, and be thankful.  Finally, I think the fall harvest celebrations, throughout history, were about reminding yourself that no matter how hard the coming winter might be, things would end up ok... after growing, storing, and saving the food needed to make it through the winter, there was still enough to have a feast.

On Thanksgiving, I like to reflect not only on the people and events that have shaped my life, but also on what this time of year has meant to other peoples throughout history.  I am thankful for the lessons that they have taught, and I am thankful that those lessons have not been lost, and are in fact being rekindled through movements like permaculture.  I am thankful that in this modern day and age, and through a movement like permaculture, I can share my thoughts from Tucson, AZ with like-minded individuals in Victoria BC, San Francisco CA, Portland OR, Hempstead NY, and even as far as Abu Dhabi in the UAE, and Adelaide Australia.  Thank you for the support you've given me by visiting and reading my blog.  Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving, I wish you a bountiful harvest in all of your permaculture projects, your attempts to better our planet, and most importantly, the happiness those can bring to your lives.

Happy Thanksgiving!

1 comment:

  1. damn, you've made me crave turkey and stuffing something fierce!

    Enjoy your holiday, kyle. May you have many bountiful harvests in the coming years,