Thursday, November 23, 2006

another look at pilgrims

Earlier this year I spotted a new book out, simply titled Mayflower. I contemplated buying it, but was spared the investment when I had the opportunity instead to listen to it in the car on my trip to St. Louis several weeks ago. I was astounded by the amount of detail recorded in original journals by the likes of William Bradford, et al. What time they rose in the morning on those early days scouting Cape Cod for a settlement site, for instance. But what was most fascinating was the insightful probing into the relationships and the politics of the events that transpired with the native people (not to mention their own!). There were episodes both inspiring and tragic, and for better or worse, the sad reality that humanity doesn’t learn much from history. We seem doomed to make the same mistakes over and over again in different times and different places. It seems that the critical ingredient that doesn’t change, and that leads to so much trouble, is the arrogance of leadership. No surprise there!

In short, our present day Thanksgiving (minus the parades and the ball games) is grounded in a historic truth, though we also give that truth short shrift by focusing only on blessings. That first meal was also the fruit of two differing peoples that found mutual benefit in forging relationship, and establishing bonds of trust, however tenuous under the circumstances. It strikes me that the greatest gift of that first year was more than survival, it was hope. And after learning about what that first year was like, hope was indeed a great gift.

So today I give thanks for what is and has been, and in the spirit of my pilgrim ancestors, celebrate and offer a toast to all that is yet to come. Slainte!


samtzmom said...

Hope is indeed something to be thankful for. Hoping you and your sweetie have a beautiful day full of good food and friends. Love to you both...

Kip said...

I have many things I'm hopeful for and many that I'm grateful for, you being one of them! Have a wonderful day Anne!

Pam in Moncton said...

Happy Thnaksgiving Anne and Ken. I too am thankful, whether on an "official" Thanksgiving Day or not, for my many friends. Have a lovely day.


Related Posts with Thumbnails