Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve, 2010

Driving through North Carolina, the Harvest Season is a very real thing. The cotton is being picked, the other fields are empty, and many are already being winterized. In my own family, harvesting the fields is a little less familiar. I've never spent a day in a field, much less a hard day in one. I've never depended on such a day in the field to put food on the table. For my family, harvest season is less about the crops in the field.

Tomorrow, families and friends all across the country will gather to celebrate this season. For some of them, the crops from the field are still just as much a part of the celebration as they have been for hundreds of years in this country.
For the rest of us, this holiday, Thanksgiving, is less about the crops in the fields, and more about the successes of the year behind us.

I read this quote today:

Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving - H.U. Westermayer

I think that is the true meaning of Thanksgiving. The true successes of a life, and of a year, never come easily. Sometimes intense heat in a field, or intense scrutiny in an office. There are disappointments, and even failures along the way, and we acknowledge them on all of those other days. We acknowledge them, and we address them, and we do our best to get past them. Then we set aside this day, this single day, to not notice them. This day is not about them, this day is about our successes.

Tomorrow we give thanks for the fortune and the bounty of a table with our loved ones. Whether your bounty is in food or in laughter, in love or in numbers, we celebrate together. Its been a year of hard work, and we have succeeded.

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