(This article was written hastily and is unedited, I just wanted to make sure to get this published in time for Thanksgiving tomorrow. Thank you for everyone near and far for trying to be the best people we can. Happy Holidays)
The celestial cycle is coming to a close. I find myself attempting to emulate the mentality of our ancestors and the observations that eventually evolved into this glorious season. The winter months coming to a close. The spring would be providing a new opportunity to plant seed and a freedom from a harsh cold season. It would be time to produce, collect, and store resources to survive the most dangerous part of the year. Somewhere along the line it became a practice to take a moment to come together and celebrate the best of what we could be. On the longest night of the year during the coldest and darkest season people made it a point to come together and cultivate generosity and gratitude. Thanksgiving celebrating the fall harvest, and the winter celebration of the solstice. Religions and cultures the world over have some form of celebrations during these times. The underlying theme of them all is the sense of love, community, generosity, and gratitude.
I find this all so awesome that possibly just as an opportunity to remind everybody of what is still good in life at a time when our ancestors would have been in the middle of the most extreme seasonal struggle for survival of the year. I can imagine gratitude could have been at its lowest point when people were surviving off of stored foods and goods. Possibly realizing “dammit I should’ve tanned a bigger fur to stay warm, chopped more wood for the fire, and where did I put that salted squirrel I was saving?????” Being thankful for family and community may not be on the mind while buttcheeks are frozen together and you are trying to ration out the last of the salted beef heart. (I have no idea if that is a real thing people ate)
Point being I think it is a true testament to the good in people to have started a tradition to celebrate the longest, coldest night of the year with a holiday focused on cheer and good tidings. Giving and a recommitment to community have persevered and spread to a large portion of the globe. Even places that did not have a winter per se now celebrate some form of joyousness and gratitude this time of the year.
Fast forward to today as I sit at a computer in Scottsdale Arizona bracing myself for the partly cloudy 72 degree day I am forced to forge through. Life is riddled with abundance and opportunity. There will be no epic struggle for survival and the food will be fresh and delicious. I will be blessed to spend time with the friends and family in attendance and I will dearly miss the friends and family that will be elsewhere hopefully having an equally beautiful, loving, and celebratory day. All of those still with us are available at a simple tap for communication on the little magic box in my pocket. I believe those no longer with us are at most peace seeing the attempts made by the family still here to maintain tradition.
Disconnect from the cynicism and negativity that lower people attempt to pollute the season with. I am well aware that the Thanksgiving story has a spotty history, and that Coca-Cola has a lot to do with the modern imagery of Santa Clause. Who gives a crap!!!. Take the foil helmet off for a couple weeks and save the cause for the other 10 months. Even if its just for the few weeks at the end of the year, take the time to pretend to be the person you wish you were. Be in gratitude for all that you have. Pray for those that are less fortunate. Take some time, money, or something and try to make the world a better place for someone else. If all of these actions leave you with a realization that you have improvements to make then take a page from our ancestors playbook. Plant the seeds of change and progress, tend to that crop as if your life depends on it, harvest the benefits of change, and then repeat this process this time next year.
I wish everyone a happy holidays.