due to our whooping cough condition we quarantined ourselves from the usual thanksgiving gathering, which we’ve attended over the past five years. this was a great disappointment to everybody as it forms our annual visiting with all the people we know, in every far flung corner of the county. it was pretty hard to remain firm in our decision, as between bouts of coughing everyone seemed totally fine and this made it very tempting to go. yet it is a contagious pass along type of thing, and with a potluck feast to spew over in intimate proximity to our friends, it didn’t seem like the right thing to do: oh happy thanksgiving, look what we brought to share, cough cough!!! we held conference and it was decided that we’d have our own thanks giving. i make the turkey for the potluck every year, so we just switched it to turkey feast at home. having never had a thanksgiving with only ourselves it was a new experience for me. fox insisted on it, for he rather does enjoy celebrating the giving of thanks annually, and “without turkey”, he declared, “it’s not really thanksgiving” as far as he’s concerned.
his urging led me to clean up the house till it was spick and span. while sweeping and mopping i had time to ponder on how being a good neighbour and sharing knowledge, as squanto did to start up this whole holy day, can often lead to surprising and unanticipated turns of events. did he realize that by teaching the immigrants sufficiency he was in some way responsible for the elimination, or near to, of his people? can a person be held accountable for the results that his actions, made with the best intentions, can have? more importantly, would he have done differently had he somehow known? for the pilgrims he shared with were themselves a helping friendly people, and they in turn passed it on, and next thing you know the chances for new world arrivals to survive increased to the point where it spirals out and now they can work the land, work it all for themselves. or something like that. i mean come on, it’s ridiculous if you look around and see how much vacant land there still is between the two overpopulated coastal lines!! there’s more than enough for all of us, and all of them, and then some more on mother earths’ ample bosom. so what was the point of taking what was abundant and could be shared? i mean here we all are, coming from all over the world, simply because there is so much space!! leads me to believe that some things are written. and then there is the principle of noble behaviour, charity, sharing, one good turn deserving another, et al. . . ..this must be how we act because it is simply how we must act, not for a reward, glory, or any other expectation: just for the sake of we can do no different than this, our considered choice, in the way we live. we do the best we can do and sometimes it works out unexpectedly, taking strange twists and turns that may horrify us (or not), yet it comes of our own doing and may be our undoing leading to further twists and turnings and learnings.
and so i swept away, and all of a sudden i wasn’t just cleaning up the house, and doing what i was doing for just another dinner, but now i was working toward some ‘thing’. an event. we began making stars to hang up and since we weren’t making it to the circle at the gathering where each person says a few words as moved before the feasting, we rolled out candles and came up with our own circle idea. table cloths were looked through and one chosen. napkins ironed. dried berries and seed pods were brought in to adorn the dining table. we were all really getting into it. excitement took hold. the girls looked through their clothes and put together outfits. we decided we would really dress it up. a salt dough ring with rosettes was made to hold the candles. we danced, we sang, we coughed. the turkey was stuffed and cooked and potatoes from the garden were mashed. our sweet potato harvest was boiled and maple syruped and pecanned and marshmallowed then baked for dessert.
we gathered in the dark, bearing our candles. the wicks were all touched together and the spark lit, each of us a light bearer. we gave thanks for what has come before us. we dined and wined and sat around the table for a long while, enjoying one anothers company. and as i went back to sweeping afterward, i realized that when we invite the sacred in, then the door is open and the guest enters, and from that moment on the mundane is transformed into something else. something magical, filled with wonderment which we hold dear to ourselves and cherish for a long time to come. be it cooking dinner on what could have been just another thursday in november or gathering everyone to walk down the driveway and check the mail. the sacred must be invited and the door remain open for her to enter at all times. until we walk in this way without thinking about it, until we walk as lightbearers, until we walk in beauty. so i am thankful for whooping cough and the teachings brought with it. and on that note, i am off to enjoy a ginger scone . . . cough cough