I have spent days, not hours, on this Thanksgiving blog this year. It has been a year of discovery and awakening for me. I honestly do not know if that is just due to my advancing age, or because of the reality of 2021.
Of course, we all know the tradition of Thanksgiving is modeled on a harvest feast in 1621 shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag tribe. Rich in legend and symbolism, it is said that about 90 Indians joined the 50 colonists for a celebration that actually lasted three days.
What most of us do not know is that when the Mayflower ship left Plymouth, England, in September of 1620, it carried 102 passengers. Their treacherous journey lasted 66 days. Most of the colonists remained on board the ship that first brutal winter, where they suffered from exposure, scurvy, and contagious disease outbreaks. Only half of the Mayflower’s original passengers and crew lived to see their first New England spring.
This rings true even more poignantly for me this year. I am so very fortunate to have not suffered personally in light of this pandemic, but many have had to endure unspeakable pain and loss. And yes, there is loss every year, it just seems so overwhelming these days.
No matter your age, the year, or the path of struggle you walk, life is truly a challenge. We harness the energies of faith, family, and friends to not only endure the hard times but embrace the good times. If you pause to imagine the possibility of losing half of your own personal universe like those on the Mayflower, your inner vision becomes a life-saving searchlight. And in that illuminating moment, you smile and realize – no, you remember – how very blessed you are.
I am thankful for each of you that take ten minutes a week to share in my journey. It has given me hope, direction, and vision. May your harvest feast be bountiful with joy, love, and enlightenment.
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