|Lake Superior in Michigan's UP, one of the places I am most thankful for.|
Thursday, November 26, 2015
Have an Outstanding Day
I’ve been thinking all week of something original I could write about on Thanksgiving. Of course we should remember all the things that we are thankful for – our families, our homes, our jobs, our freedom, and of course, God. Or the specific things that I personally am thankful for – Dino the wonder dog (who had diarrhea for four days leaving me worried about his health), the beautiful backyard that I sometimes feel I don’t enjoy nearly enough, having had the chance to return to Kenya for the third time, and despite all of my worsening aches and pains, I still enjoy basically good health. Or the really obscure things we all take for granted such as the internet and our cellphones and GPS (which I still am not sold on).
Next I could extrapolate on that list. Or add more obscure items. Or take another tact all together and share the history of the first Thanksgiving (as if you have never heard that before). There is of course the history of making Thanksgiving a national holiday, which occurred during the height of the Civil War when Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that all Americans should ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” That doesn’t sound like we were expected to be so thankful.
We also sometimes think that we Americans are the only ones to recognize a national day of Thanksgiving, but other countries have similar observances. Though our Thanksgiving is traced back to 1621, the Canadian Thanksgiving is believed to have its roots in 1578, when the explorer Martin Frobisher gave thanks for the safe journey from England.
Germany celebrates Erntedankfest or the Harvest Thanksgiving Festival and Japan has a Labor Thanksgiving Day which has its roots dating back thousands of years ago to a harvest festival but which was officially established following World War II and is not only for giving thanks but to commemorate the labor force. And there are many more such stories from around the world.
Which leaves me where? I’m not quite sure. But in addition to all of this, I am also thankful that I get to share these random thoughts with all of you, whether you are thankful back or not, however, is hard to tell.