This November, remember Thanksgiving. Between the bustling extremes of Halloween and Christmas, take rest in Thanksgiving. Let it be as quiet as the rustling of fallen leaves. Between the gaudy orange of Halloween and the bright lights of Christmas enjoy the subtle brown and grey of November. Be grateful you survived the season of fear. Be the calm before the storm. Resist the hurry and flurry of Christmas. Take time to be thankful for what you have and do not worry yet about what you will get.
Our consumer society wants us to buy into endless celebration. Halloween candy appears in September. Christmas displays start in November or earlier. Thanksgiving gets lost in the mix. It has been reduced to a day of gluttony and football. What if we expanded Thanksgiving Day into Thanksgiving Season? All November we could take time to remember what we have been given.
We have received much from a multitude of people. When we buy food we should remember all the people who have brought the food to us; the cashier, the stock clerk, the trucker, the migrant worker and the farmer. We must also remember that all the farmland in our country once belonged to someone else. The story of the first thanksgiving recalls the generosity of Native Americans. We must never forget how the European settlers betrayed their trust. We must remember each November that we have inherited stolen land.
The Purdue Native American Educational and Cultural Center is hosting a series of events during November. “Native American Heritage Month is a national month-long celebration created to recognize, honor and celebrate Indigenous Peoples. The NAECC serves as the focal point for campus and community events and sponsors an array of cultural presentations featuring traditional and contemporary Native American scholars, art demonstrations, educational tours, workshops and documentaries” for more information visit their website. Before any one of us celebrates Thanksgiving, we should make a pilgrimage to at least one of these events.
The true celebration of thanksgiving involves the sharing of food. This was true in the first thanksgiving and remains true today. The first Thanksgiving was also interfaith. The Inter-Religious Network of Lafayette is sponsoring an Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Monday November 19th at 7pm. At Our savior Lutheran Church 300 West Fowler Ave. West Lafayette, IN. Bring non-perishable food to share. All food will be donated to Food Finders.
Remember Thanksgiving. Throughout November take time to show your respect and gratitude, every day and every way you can imagine.
Rev. Charlie Davis
Unitarian Universalist Church
West Lafayette, IN