We get in deep on Thanksgiving over here. Leila has a drum she beats and a headdress she wears and a macaroni necklace people keep stepping on and shattering until I suggested putting the remnants inside the drum to create an Indian drum maraca effect. This did not make her stop crying.
Olivia gives me every historical detail on the pilgrims as only a 1st grade learning sponge can and Sophia’s 3rd class walked to the post office to mail letters of gratitude.
Ruthie says “thank you.” It’s her third expression after DONE! and uh-oh. Talk about whole language. If I had to choose three expressions to get by with for the rest of my life, I think those three could make it happen. She uses “thank you,”actually as “please” because she’s confused or really maybe because she’s smarter than all of us. “Thank you” actually works as “please”. A passionate “thank you” entices me to give her what she wants much more than a begging “please. ” I might try this strategy myself. Thank you join me.
Anyways, tonight we were reading a fine piece of literature entitled “Thanksgiving Mice.” The mice are putting on a play in which they are pilgrims and Indians. By the way, this is why children are brilliant. Mice are now anthropomorphizing into pilgrims but only as characters in the play they are producing for the other woodland creatures who arrive wearing scarves. And everyone is buying in.
The story reminded me, though, of what exactly the Pilgrims were grateful for (well, according to the mice, and a quick follow up on wikipedia.)
1. Fruit from the first harvest.
2. Plenty of it.
I’d always thought of the second two but tonight the Mice struck me with the poignancy of the first. What they worked to put in the ground in the spring bore fruit in the autumn. Their labor paid off. Their work was worth it.
I love to list things I’m thankful for – people, stuff, experiences, intangibles. But the Pilgrims, as far as we know, were not listing. They were pretty specific. I’ve said before spiritual practice for me is about getting specific. So this Thanksgiving as you are grateful for your people and the six sticks of butter in the Pioneer Woman Mashed Potatoes I am endeavoring to make, join me in pondering this Ye Old Plymouth Rock Inspired Question:
What fruit from your labor are you thankful to see? What seeds have you put into the ground with just enough hope and recently seen blossom? What really hard stuff has proven its worth recently?
Colonial Williamsburg sent me this picture in a Thanksgiving message that thrilled me. It tactfully hides all the Christmas decorations that have already been hung. When I look at this picture for exactly one more moment I’m still in autumn, surrounded by pumpkins and the joy of a harvest that only follows long hard work.
Have a wonderful holiday, friends. Rest, reflect, and beat your macaroni necklace maraca drums with thanks.