Once upon a time white immigrants in pilgrim clothes spread out a banquet to thank people of color for welcoming them to the New World, and for sharing their bounty. True Story.
So true it became a tradition in this country, to take one day out of the year, and spread a bountiful table to share with others in gratitude.
As the holidays descend upon us people are very busy. There seems to be a new frenetic energy to get things done before the getting things done season is fully upon us. For some reason I have been seeing Santa Claus in unusual places—out of uniform.
This morning on my walk I saw a jolly white bearded man pushing a stroller with a toddler in the park. The day before I saw a white bearded man in the seat of a John Deere caterpillar— digging a trench. Last week I saw a white bearded man directing people in Costco—pointing out to them where the shortest check out lines were. Do we really think Santa Claus only works one night a year?
The Giver of Gifts works year round, really, in and mostly out of uniform. The giving of gifts is really “baked into” the very make up of this earth we live on. I have been enjoying the audiobook “Overstory” by Richard Powers. In it he takes a different species of tree and tells the story of one family across generations that mattered to that tree, and to whom that tree mattered. He won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for it, and it is so well deserved. Trees are so very generous with us, aren’t they? Giving shade and wood and nuts and fruit…habitats for squirrels and crows and wild parrots. Stately. Beautiful. Alive. In the Introduction Powers writes that when humans look at trees, they see only “amputations,” for as humans, we never see the whole picture, oblivious to the roots of things below the surface.
As I think of Thanksgiving I think of the word regeneration, too. How we are learning that stem cells can literally become anything the body needs to grow, until something turns them off. Scientists are working to discover exactly what it is that turns stem cells off—so that we can turn them on again. Imagine the possibilities for healing. Even the Fountain of Youth?
I remember Jesus saying “Tear down this temple and in three days I will build it again.” It was spoken in a confrontational setting, to people who intended to kill him. Yet he was speaking of, thinking of, remembering, the roots from whence he came.
Nothing can ever be destroyed—only changed in form. Science has its own scripture.
Both contain the same truth.
I was sharing with a group of friends that I had the gardener cut down a wild avocado tree that had grown so large it was leaning against the wooden railing of my balcony. “Chop it down to the very roots” I said, and he obliged. Yet what seems like a few months later, there it is again—grown nearly 10 feet high. One of the men in the group who heard my story laughed “The tree said ‘That was just what I needed!’’
And we all laughed.
So true. Cutting to the point of near devastation, or so I thought as a human.
But the roots, you see…the roots…
are born to be born again.
So Happy Grate-ful Day today to you all. May you be reminded in all things, of the constant Giver of Gifts—both in and out of uniform.
And may you be reminded that even in the midst of your own seeming devastation, you were born to be born again.
~ Live. Breathe. Joy ~ Laurie Beth