Reflections on Thanksgiving

Native American Corn, Photo by Marcus Winkler from Unsplash

Reflections on Thanksgiving

1620 was a year of tribulation.

The Mayflower voyage was no vacation!

In America, one hundred Pilgrims arrived.

By spring, only fifty-three remained alive.

Befriended by a Native American tribe,

they grew corn and learned to thrive.

1621 was a year of jubilation,

harvest time at Plymouth Plantation,

when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag

gave thanks together and got along.

A time for gratitude and celebration,

plans for peace and co-operation.

Peace and cooperation were transient,

but Thanksgiving was a hopeful event.

Brotherhood, the spirit of Thanksgiving,

can transform our way of living!


CopyrightΒ© 2020 by Cheryl Batavia


Harvest festivals have been observed all over the world since ancient times. Several States claim to be the site of the first Thanksgiving in the US, but Plymouth, Massachusetts, though probably not the first, is the most well-known. Native Americans rescued several struggling American colonies in the early days. The Wampanoag befriended the Pilgrims at Plymouth, teaching them to grown corn and celebrating Thanksgiving with them.

The history of our country, as in many countries, has been blemished by racism, persecution of indigenous peoples, slavery, and religious intolerance. Many people have fought these evils, and many wrongs have been righted. The fight continues. The first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Plantation is a hopeful example of brotherhood and peace.

66 Comments

    1. Thanks, Angela, for sharing this interesting information about the corn grown in your village. What a beautiful tradition and continuity to be able to plant your own seed for generations. That doesn’t work well with modern hybrids. I am happy that you like the poem. Enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday! ❀

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      1. Lol, I do that too when I write something. Theme is the easier part, then there is thinking of the right words, before performing surgery here and there, till you are OKish with it. I totally get it!

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    1. Ramya, thank you for your thoughtful response. It was hard writing this post knowing that most of us will not have our customary family gatherings and that those who do are taking a great risk. I do think 2021 will see us returning to our normal lives. I am thankful for the promising vaccines that will be available soon. I am also hoping for a more peaceful US and an improvement in our international relations. The whole world is suffering, but I think there is hope! ❀ ❀ ❀ Stay well and be happy!

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    1. Thank you, Kate, for your kind response. There do seem to be some parallels between the hard times suffered by colonists in the year before their first Thanksgiving and what we are experiencing. I hope life will soon return to normal. Have a wonderful day, Kate! ❀

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      1. Maybe the rigid restrictions plus finally translating all the covid info into other languages! Seems our govt initially used google translator and as I’ve found much gets lost in those translations.

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  1. I sometimes miss the simple days of childhood when we celebrated this kind of stuff for thanksgiving, doing little plays and making little crafts for the holiday at school and such. It was so much simpler back then. Now life is so complicated and while history should indeed be seen with nuance and an eye out for wrongdoing, it seems we lost the joy of some of those good times.

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    1. Maranda, I have my small pumpkins sitting on the table. Maybe I will take out my small ceramic Pilgrim and wild turkey figures πŸ™‚ We should always celebrate the simple joys. I plan to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my significant other and set the table with nice dishes. Though life has its harsh realities, we still have many blessings. 2021 promises to be a better year. πŸ™‚

      Honor your traditions, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving. ❀ Stay safe and be happy.

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  2. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones.

    “Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” β€” Melody Beattie

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  3. This is an informative post Cheryl, with a beautiful poem and a lovely message of brotherhood and supporting each other. After your post, I read up the Mayflower voyage, the history is new to me and was very heartening too. A great way to thank those kind souls.
    We too have many harvest festivals in India, and many of the cultural dance forms here have evolved from the celebrations of harvest festival.
    And those corns are so beautiful, never seen any like those before.

    Hope you had a great thanksgiving Cheryl πŸ’– sorry my wishes could not come more timely but work has been keeping me to busy lately during the weekdays, so saw the message late.

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    1. Deb, It is always good to hear from you. It is great that you are busy! πŸ™‚ Thank you for the information about harvest festivals in India and dances that evolved from them. Glad you liked the corn photo. Long ago, Native Americans developed many different types of corn from the original grass-like wild corn. This corn is very popular in Thanksgiving displays today. Corn chips made from blue corn are available at our grocery store, and there are also popcorns in black and purple.

      I was a little under the weather on Thanksgiving, so the two of us cooked together. It was very meaningful, the best Thanksgiving in our six years together. πŸ™‚

      Have a great day! ❀

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      1. I do hope that the great time spent together at thanksgiving would have helped you feel much better by now Cheryl, do take good care.
        BTW all sweet corn snack carts around here advertise as using “original American corn” πŸ™‚ now I know why…

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    1. Thank you, Michel, for your kind comment. Glad this poem made you smile. πŸ™‚ Thank you for giving those who missed it a heads-up!

      “Speedy, the Celebrated Racing Snail of Miami-Dade County” was posted August 3, 2020. If anyone missed it, you can access it on the Archives at the top of the menu. You can also use the category “Animals” to find it.

      Have a great weekend, Michel!

      Love, ❀
      Cheryl

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