Thanksgiving - Our National "Holy-Day"
The local Wampanoag here on Cape Cod are the same people who sat down with my own ancestors, and with thanks joined together in brotherly and harmonious action.
In this account, we look back in commemoration at the first Thanksgiving feast – a holiday so decreed by Abraham Lincoln.
It is about giving thanks . . . to God.
The Wampanoag Indians can tell you a thing or two about giving thanks too. They speak of a history, tradition and spiritual connection, full of individual humility, the kind that escapes so many of us, so easily.
To these local indigenes, thankfulness is not a once a year experience – or even a once in a great while experience. To Wampanoag, giving thanks is an ongoing spiritual experience to become a vital part of every hour of each day. To them, the material world, along with the spiritual, are interwoven.
They’re inseparable. Throughout each day, as events unfolded each Wampanoag was to thank the spirits.
If the sun shone strongly against the autumn frost to warm the chilled hunter, he took pause to thank the appropriate spirit. If his arrow felled a deer, he would pause to thank the spirits of . . . oh, I don’t know . . . the deer hunting spirit I guess. The point is that his thanks was continuous throughout the day, reminding the grateful not to dare take credit for events unfolding.
If there was food it was because of the spirits that granted it. If the weather was favorable, it was the spirits that caused it. If a fire was lit against a cold, damp wind, then it was only with the help and permission of the spirits making it possible.
Of themselves, the Wampanoag Indian could do nothing.
Is this beginning to sound familiar?
A continuous embracing of gratitude acknowledges that without God to protect us through His conscious mind, we remain vulnerable to the elements – in our case, selfishness, fear, dishonesty, and resentment.
Once we wake up, and begin living consciously—awakened, aware, we become instantly freed from these in our past, which had been blocking us from the Sunlight of the Spirit.
In each moment, we experience new chances to keep the channels clear, in the present. In the today.
Our awareness permits us to spot, admit, and have these flaws removed from us automatically. It is the essence of character building and good living.
We experience a genuine gratitude for blessings received, and an eagerness to grow. Our best assets become possessions of moral character, that no one can take ever from us.
Today being Thanksgiving, we can call to mind all the things for which we can be grateful. That would be in the very American tradition in celebration on what is truly a national holy-day.
But why can’t we also proactively practice this principle in all our affairs – like the Wampanoag – without whom there would be no such holiday? We can.
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