How time flies. Again we are approaching the Thanksgiving season. This year, like the years before, America is celebrating the end of the farming season with a day of sharing time with family and friends.
The heat of the summer sun has past. I watch a brown, tired leaf slowly spiral toward the ground. The chill is in the air, the wind rolling over the hills, the trees entering their season of rest, all remind us of the winter to come. The harvest has been put up. It is time for the ground to rest and re-nourish itself to be ready for the spring planting.
America marches forward. The strength of this great country has always been the people who call America home. Thanksgiving is a time for all of us to come together and celebrate and thank our creator for our blessings.
The original settlers, having come from Europe where freedom was nothing but a dream, endured and prospered from their labor. They were still feeling their way, making decisions for themselves and learning from their mistakes. The interesting thing is they were free to make those mistakes. The settlers came together to celebrate the end of a hard work season. The settlers worked together to build shelters, clear the fields of trees and grow their crops (with the help of the Native Americans who were already here). It was a day to stop and look at their accomplishments. And they thanked God for delivering them to this remarkable land and allowing them to succeed.
Life in the colonies was not easy. The original settlers were not familiar with their environment. It was a strange land to them. Being from Europe, they were expecting a harsh winter to come, but they were not sure what this new land had in store for them. The days got shorter. The chill was in the air. Because they were in the northeast, the fall chill would be worse than what they experienced back home in Europe. There was no organized government to take care of them. They had to settle their disputes and fend for themselves. This in itself was something new for them.
The settlers came from a variety of backgrounds. All came to the new world for different reasons. The one constant was they all wanted a different life then the one they had when they boarded the ships from their previous home. They were all willing to give up the life and security they had before. These people were willing to leave what they knew to spend the rest of their lives facing the unknown.
The early celebrations were done to recognize and thank our creator. The Pilgrims who arrived on our shore realized that their lives received help from above and after their hard successful work they wanted to stop and thank God for their results.
Today Thanksgiving is a day when families and friends come together to celebrate that special love and friendship we don’t express enough during the year. We gather and usually share a wonderful turkey. Our gatherings are a special time for all of us. Many childhood memories are created from that magical smell of the bird in the oven and the excited anticipation of having that first bite.
Although the meaning has somewhat changed since the first time the Pilgrims gathered, it is still a special day. I wish all of you a special day filled with love and joy. May you all be surrounded by family and friends. Remember to thank God for the blessings we have received.