Thanksgiving is an obvious (though hardly the only) time to offer our gratitude to the Creator for all we have been given. In the book Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a chapter on gratitude includes the Thanksgiving Address with which some Indigenous children begin and end their school week. The Thanksgiving Address is also used to open social and religious gatherings, including official meetings of adults which might be contentious. It offers thanks for almost everything that is created and has a clause to cover anything that may have been inadvertently omitted.
You’ll note that the opening paragraph states, “So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People,” and successive paragraphs speak of all kinds of human and non-human beings and life forms, asking that we live in balance with all. Then each paragraph ends with “Now our minds are one.”
I can’t help but imagine how our world, all our differing ideologies and politics, our cultural and racial differences, could come together if we all began our days in this sort of remembrance of all we hold in trust. Could we care more for our created universe? Could we make the hard choices that will provide for sustainable life for all beings? Could we even hope to say that “Now our minds are one”?
If you haven’t read Braiding Sweetgrass, we highly recommend it. It is also possible to hear the author read it as an audio book.
– Carolyn Lief, Simpler Living member
Check out The Nat’s suggestions for supporting research/nature, after-Thanksgiving activities and learning something new, CLICK HERE for resources.