Ferguson, Missouri, burns. Protestors march in Manhattan, Philadelphia and Oakland. Retailers have trumpeted their Black Friday SALES!, SALES!, SALES!! since the neighborhood children counted their Halloween candy. Common Core teaches that the Pilgrims were terrorists and we can only acknowledge the Native Americans at Thanksgiving. It’s ten o’clock at night and I will not let the news or advertisers or newfangled school curriculum steal my Thanksgiving.
I wrote about the First Thanksgiving last year, but I’ll touch on it again briefly. The Pilgrims were deeply religious Christians who may have held fast to some Jewish traditions as well. They didn’t arrive at Plymouth Rock blowing up people who disagreed with them or employing superior firepower to drive the Natives off their land.
Miles Standish and the others did take some Native American lands — by accident. They landed within close distance of some Native American settlements that had been left behind while the tribe went south for winter. The Pilgrims were just grateful for a structure to sleep in that wasn’t the Mayflower and food to eat that wasn’t hard biscuits. The Pilgrims arrived here living out the Covenant they had just made during the voyage across the Atlantic, a covenant with the G-d of Heaven and earth, Who made the sea, the sky and the land and with each other.
What they were celebrating a that first Thanksgiving, was a harvest bountiful enough that those who had worked the land wouldn’t starve in the winter, bountiful enough to share with the Native Americans who had returned a few months before and become their friends. They were all thanking G-d in their own way. The Natives may have called Him the Great Spirit and Pilgrims may have called Him the G-d of Abraham, but they were all acknowledging Divine Providence on that First Thanksgiving.
So, here’s what I’m thankful for. I’m thankful that I got to take my son, St Thomas-the-Younger to some interesting places this past year: the Grand Canyon, and New Orleans. I’m thankful for a son who looks up to me and his mother, but is more concerned with his own relationship with G-d and growing into whom G-d has called him to be, than with being like either of his parents. I’m thankful for a son who dares to tell me what he really thinks and feels, from time to time.
I’m thankful for my audience: All forty or fifty or a hundred of you.
I’m thankful for a dad who encouraged me to write, a mother who taught me to spell and a step-father who taught me to train. I’m thankful for an uncle who keeps pursuing his dreams, whether that’s being a plumber (1979), a Sheriff’s officer (2008-ish), or a detective (2011).
I’m thankful for an apartment that’s just the right size and has gas heat.
For all these and others that escape me, I’m grateful to Divine Providence.
And that’s all I can think of right now. It’s nearly eleven p.m. I need to sleep soon. It will be morning in a few hours, even though the daylight doesn’t get here till I’m driving to work.
What are you thankful for? Tell us about it in the comments.
And for those of you keeping score at home, this is, in fact, Part 15 of ‘So, what are we celebrating.’ Constitution Day was 13 and Veterans’ Day was 14.
These opinions are my own, and not those of my employers.