Harvest Festival

Today we are told to be thankful.

Most will roast a turkey too large for same-day consumption. Mash their potatoes and then melt in the butter until they almost glide down your throat. Traditionally, stuffing will ooze from the bird in the oven and cranberries will pop as they're boiled in cinnamon and sugar. And then, when we're already too full to function; we will force pumpkin pie into our bellies.

What a strange way to celebrate a day for giving thanks. Overeating, and expressing gratitude.

I remember last year, I was fortunate enough to enjoy a Thanksgiving potluck at my friend Jesse's house. The food selection was anything but traditional; however, we were still guilty of practicing the tradition of stuffing yourself sick.

Just before eating, we did a round of giving individual thanks for things in our lives. Last year, I was thankful for different things than I am today. It's amazing that no matter where you're at in your life, there will always be things to give thanks for. New things all the time. And I find that the older you grow, the more aware you are of the fortunes you are blessed with.

This morning, for example. I think I had the best row of my life. Rowing in a quad with 3 skilled rowers, on the inlet covered in a thin layer of fog, as the leaves in the process of changing colours. I feel blessed to have my two legs that allow me to row. I am thankful for this second opportunity to rekindle a sport that I previously enjoyed.

I am grateful for this cat that lays on my bed as I run through lecture slides in preparation for an exam. I am thankful for the clothes in the dryer that I will soon be folding and putting in drawers. I am thankful for the helmet that kept me safe this morning as I rode my bike down the biker-unfriendly streets of Halifax. I am thankful for my Grandmother who recently turned 81, but has the spirit of a 60 year-old. I am thankful for the Friendsgiving tradition of my friends back home who Skyped me into the toast that Keira delivered before they feasted. I am thankful for the sun that's shining so bright today, like it does many days. I am thankful for my roommates- how lucky I got to have such a wonderful group of girls living under the same roof. I am thankful for the ability to breathe underwater like I have experienced for the past two days. I am thankful for the turkeys that have sacrificed their lives to be in the bellies of the human population, and I am thankful for the squash that I baked and blended into soup.

Tonight as I sat around the table with good friends, danced to Will Blunderfield with Ali, and cooked an epic meal with my roomates; I felt an overwhelming sense of warmth. So much joy is to be had! Si much love to be given and shared. And so blessed I feel for this moment granted to me right now. Thank you world, thank you fate; you have been good to me.

The sign on our front door. A traditional English schoolchildren's song.

Happy Harvest to all!

"its another harvest festival
where we bring out fruits and vegetables
cos we want to share the best of all the good things that we've been given.
its another opportunity 
to be grateful for the food we eat.  
cabbages and greens,
broccoli and beans,
cauliflower and roasted potatoes taste so good to me. 
apricots and plums,
ripen in the sun
oranges and yellow bananas
good for everyone."


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