Day of Thanks and Mourning

by | Nov 24, 2022 | What I'm Thinking | 2 comments

Every year, if I am in Massachusetts for Thanksgiving, I contemplate going down to Plymouth to participate in the National Day of Mourning with the native people who gather their to remind us of the theft of their lands and the destruction of their culture.

Every year so far I have opted to enjoy the day with my family, who have no interest in taking part in this remembrance. But I am grateful that this event exists and to those who do take part. I am grateful as well for this day in which, for the most part, business and normal activities come to a halt. I know this is not necessarily true for those who work in restaurants and drugstores, hospitals or movie theaters, fire departments or airports or train stations, and so many other categories of work that allow the rest of us to travel and deal with medical emergencies.

Nor do I forget that in many households, it is a day when women may face greater kitchen responsibilities and pressures to produce a feast while men watch football. Nor that this holiday arose from the tragedy of our Civil War that left so many dead or wounded and yet began the all-too-slow progress toward liberation and equality.

I am not grateful that so many of my favorite radio programs and podcasts and news outlets have devoted the last couple of days to reports on how best to cook a turkey.

I am, however, grateful for my family, my friends, my community, and for nature whose rhythms continue despite disruption. I am grateful for the onset of winter cold, and grateful that I have housing with heat that protects me and my loved ones. More and more, people around us are lacking this basic need.

I hope that all who read this will find a moment to reflect on good fortune and shared responsibility and appreciate any moments of relief the day might bring from business as usual.