“Thank you is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses gratitude, humility, understanding.” Alice Walker, author and activist
The first Thanksgiving in America took place in November of 1621. The September prior, 102 English men and women left England looking for religious freedom and land of their own. After a 2-month journey, they reached the Americas and suffered through a very arduous winter. Once spring arrived, a Native American named Squanto and a fellow Native taught the pilgrims how to survive and make peace with a local tribe. After such a successful spring and harvest, William Bradford, the settlers’ governor, created a 3-day celebration between the Natives and new Americans. Thanksgiving was celebrated sporadically in various areas of the nation until 1836, when President Lincoln made it a federal holiday. Thanksgiving is now celebrated every fourth Thursday in November with turkey and all the fixings, American football, and dear friends and family.
Upon reflection of the above history, I remain awed by our forefathers and mothers who left England on a journey for freedom and a place to call home. I can imagine their mixed emotions—from anxiousness to excitement—regarding the world they were about to create. In honor of their determination, take the time to P-A-U-S-E and reflect on the voyage others took so that we can celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23rd this year.
During this season, reflect on your own personal journey that has lead you to this moment. Be thankful for all the good in your life; your physical, mental, and spiritual health; and for your family and friends who have become family along the way. Count your blessings, join the conversation below and share your thanks.