Thanksgiving – Yesterday and Today

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The United States has just been through a very divisive Presidential election. It seems the entire country is polarized. Friends have argued with friends and, in fact, friendships and even family relationships have been lost over the election. What we need at this Thanksgiving holiday season is to think about the meaning of the first real Thanksgiving in our country.

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn harvest feast that they called a thanksgiving for the successful harvest. There were also other successful harvest feasts. All were full of the wonderful,
aromatic food from the fall harvests. The key was that the English colonists and the Native Americans shared the food in peace.

It couldn’t have been easy for either group. The English colonists were running from the tyranny of an English King. The Native Americans must have felt like their homeland was being invaded. But, they put aside their differences and shared the bounty of the fall harvest. The American people, many of whom are so galvanized on one side of the political spectrum or the other that they hardly talk to their family and friends who have different opinions, need to consider the actions of these two very different groups on that Thanksgiving so long ago.

On this first Thanksgiving, the story is that the Native Americans came bearing deer for venison. The feast also probably included duck or goose instead of turkey. They were close to the sea so lobster, clams or mussels may have been on the menu. Squash, carrots, and peas may have been the vegetables. The only corn in November would have been dried corn. Nuts like walnuts and chestnuts may have been available. If there were any sweets, it would have been only pumpkin as the colonists sugar supplies had run low during the trip from England.

They had an excellent Thanksgiviing dinner though different from what we traditionally have now. But they had it together, these two very diverse groups with different opinions and goals. I hope they can be an example for the rest of us this Thanksgiving. #amwriting #amblogging #writing #Thanksgiving #dailyprompt

 

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