Thursday, November 28, 2013

The Harvest, Thanksgiving

Happily, I've reached an age and am in a small enough apartment that I do not do big family dinners, I merely contribute, modestly.  This morning, it is an apple pie. These are the after and before photos, I even admit that the crust is courtesy of the Pillsbury company.

As I stood slicing apples I realized that all over the USA millions of women were also in their kitchens (and a few men, I hope) preparing dinner.  Thanksgiving began as a havest festival, we are told. Our history usually neglects to mention that havest festivals are as old as the beginning of agriculture. Some of us still grow our food, or some part of it, but most of us are modern hunter gatherers, roaming supermarket aisles gathering foods from many places around the globe.  Apples are grown nearby but I don't believe these came from a hundred or five hundred miles away.  However, I also made  some spiced cranberries for the feast and those came from no more than 20 miles away. 

I am not a party to the shopping frenzy that is a part of this holiday weekend. "Black Friday" and all the shopping in stores and online that is expected in the next few days is another kind of hunting-gathering. We are no longer an agrarian culture. We are a manufacturing/comercial culture. All those people in the big box stores and others, those surffing the web for the best bargains, are present day gatherers.

We talk about giving thanks, and I think the majority of people will pause, at least briefly, to consider the bounty on their tables. I know many have given time or money to organizations that will give dinners to the needy today ... in America.  Around the world many, many are hungry and needy. A small proportion of people will remember that -- the destitute in the Philippines, refugees in and from Syria, and many, many others on every continent.  When the day was designed for us to enjoy what we have, pausing even briefly to consider the less fortunate is difficult.  However briefly, a moment of  compassion will enhance our day. 

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