Sunday, November 20, 2016

Giving Thanks

The Harvest Cradle
John Linnell (Source)
And so begins the season of Thanksgiving, the celebration of the harvest. The country is torn, politics and the bitter aftertaste of a fiercely contested election seem to dominate everyone's thoughts.

And that is so terribly wrong.

Most cultures have some form of harvest festival. Though the traditional American Thanksgiving celebration occurs well after the harvest. At least here in New England it does, I can't speak for other areas of the country, not being all that familiar with agriculture outside of my native land. (Truth be told, The Missus Herself has the green thumb. I lift heavy things and move dirt as required and as directed by the keeper of the gardens.)

I look forward to Thanksgiving every year, though for a long stretch of time that was not the case. After leaving my parents' hearth and home to venture forth into an indifferent world, I might have partaken of a Thanksgiving repast in the chow hall. Those meals must have been indifferent at best as I don't remember them at all.

Once we had children, and when The Naviguesser was of an age to appreciate it, I began to get back into the celebration of the holiday. When our son was young, schools still taught the lessons of the first Thanksgiving, much as I had learned them when I was a boy. Do schools even teach that anymore? Or do they now worship at the progressive altar as so many do?

Satan must be very pleased with that.

For this holiday does have a religious component, a sacred component if you will. While I have had my differences with organized religion in the past, I have reconciled myself to the need for some sort of organization to one's beliefs. Even if that might only extend to the comfort of worshiping in the company of like minded believers. No doubt I would have been denounced as a heretic in the Middle Ages. God gave me a mind and the ability to use it. It would insult Him if I didn't do so and merely followed the crowd.

Never been much of a crowd guy to tell the truth. I don't march to the beat of a different drummer. I have my own marching band at times. (Pipes and drums for the most part. The Celt in me prefers such things. Though sometimes a good military band with brass and drums and the like is oft enjoyed when I'm in the mood.)

A few folks have mentioned some trepidation at the coming feast. The thought of the recent election raising its ugly head at the table should give one pause. My own beloved Madame Mère asked me if I had calmed down since the election. (I might have expressed an opinion or two back in October when I last saw her.) I assured her that my own preferred candidate wasn't even in the running and that while I wasn't "unhappy" with the result, I wasn't exactly "happy" either.

When Major John André was led out to be executed as a spy, he balked at the sight of the gallows. He had requested a firing squad as he felt it more in keeping with his dignity as a soldier. I suppose that if General Washington had relented and given him his request, he would not have been "unhappy." But "happy" wouldn't describe his feelings either, I suppose.

While I do feel that the Republic is in no immediate danger, one never knows. The crew of the Titanic still had hopes of saving the ship until they realized the extent of the damage. While I do think the country has been damaged, I still have hope.

As to the election, I personally feel that the country dodged a bullet. I have many friends and not a few family members who disagree with that assessment. While I can't say I understand their perceived pain, it is real to them.

We dodged a bullet, but no cease fire has been declared. Yet. Time will tell where this will all end up. Again, I have hope.

For the Thanksgiving celebration I hope we can all set aside our differences for a day, maybe an entire week. There is much to be thankful for, all things considered. We still live in the best country in the world (though I am biased there, no doubt some of my readers will take offense and say their own lands are pretty darned nice, and they wouldn't necessarily be wrong), we have food to eat, roofs over our heads, and people who love us.

If we can't set aside our differences and join together as family, as friends, then I fear the damage may indeed be too great to save this great experiment in freedom.

But again, I have hope.

I always do...

May you have a Blessed Sunday.


  1. There are still a LOT of things to give thanks for. A site like this, where can both learn, and be entertained by a most notable fellow for a host, and his minions, Juvat and Tuna. I give thanks to you Gentlemen.

    Sort of a depressing harvest painting, what with the buzzards circling. Reminds me of the harvest here in Baraboo. I have fields on 270 degrees of me. I live in the unglaciated zone of Wisconsin, at one end of the Baraboo Range of mesas, or bluffs, as we call them in Wisconsin. For some reason, bluffs attract turkey buzzards, an ugly bird, but a magnificent flyer. Modern combines use a turbine fan to blow the chaff and trash out of the read discharge, so combines howl, in operation. Buzzards do NOT like the sound combines make, so they take to the air, and circle. I assume that the combines are just out of the field of view in the painting at the top of the page.

    1. Those might be hawks looking for the field mice disturbed by the harvest.

    2. Scott - I'm also thankful for the commentariat. They give me insights and knowledge I wouldn't otherwise get

      For instance, you're my go-to guy for battleships.

      As the painting represents the 19th Century, I doubt that there are any combines nearby. Just sayin'. ;)

  2. And the other field creatures, I member using a syth in my grandfather's field as a young one, and hearing the wheels of the sisters gathering the wheat, seeing the mangeled critters. From birds to snakes and turtles. Made for some interesting conjectures for the Sunday dinner.

    1. "Interesting conjectures," hahaha. I like that.

  3. Durn spellcheck, squeels not wheels.

  4. Seagulls?

    I keep hearing and seeing way more acrimony than I am comfortable with

  5. I'm thankful that we have a chance to save our nation. And I will celebrate with like minded individuals! :-)

  6. Although I have wonderful memories of Family Thanksgivings somehow my most cherished memories are of the Thanksgivings underway.

    I agree that we dodged a bullet, but burden of saving the Republic falls on the shoulders 300,000,000 rather than one.


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