Canada’s thanksgiving has come, gone. Even that turkey soup I brewed from my turkey carcass is long gone ...
For our American friends, today is a turkey day, a football day, a family day, a giving thanks day – not a dark day at all. For that, and marketing/shopping frenzy, they have tomorrow.
Prosperity, peace and making it through another winter – what else could we want?
What we share, and what we are grateful for – what we fear, what we are frightened of, is more same than it is different.
When Canadians roast thanksgiving turkeys – it’s celebrating bountiful fall harvests. On this day, Canadians are into winter. Less than a month till Christmas, we’re fussed about matching shopping days with budgets, about the economy and goofy things we fear politicians might cook up in Paris at climate change talks. Our media focuses attention on fearfulness from terrorism’s current turmoil. In Alberta, oil price everywhere in the world is an important factor – when it rises, when it falls.
When Americans roast thanksgiving turkeys – it’s celebrating survival. Colonists at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts were an experiment in survival as much as they were an experiment in colonial citizenship. Much like Canada’s history, prices for beaver fur in Europe were important, when they rose, when they fell. They survived and, in time, thrived.
Being grateful isn’t a solution to a problem or a way of getting our way. It’s statement of who we are, and how we are in the world. Once we get that figured out, doors open more easily and welcome mats appear everywhere. Maybe the landscape will change. Or, maybe just the climate …
P.S.: we ALL shouldn’t forget native peoples were here first, should be grateful for them, but do you think they are grateful we came? In both countries, we’ve taken their land, their livelihood – never paid them much. Ever. We don’t celebrate them much. Those very serious unresolved issues aside for this moment, I wonder what they are thankful for at thanksgiving? Are they grateful beaver merchants, religious and political exiles, idealists and zeolots, outcasts and adventurers came? I don’t think we ask those questions enough. The reality is, most of us don’t have two clues to rub together in terms of understanding our ‘real’ founders – indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States. Sadly, we thank them for few things beyond their art, inventing lacrosse and hockey, and the canoe. Americans and Canadians alike must do better.
written / published from Calgary, AB
morning walk: -11C/12F, clear, full moon hanging bright – a floodlight from the west – fresh air filled our lungs without than annoying wind, snow softening, warmer days ahead. Gusta seems to be struggling, trying to throw-up. The other day it was a ketchup packet, not sure what today will bring …
Hello Mark – I thought your Table Topics talk was excellent! Good presentation, very catchy and I loved your gesturing. You spoke of very poignant moments which really turned the topic on its head!, MK, Calgary, AB