This year, I'm looking at Thanksgiving in a new light...
While our American Thanksgiving holiday is still a good month off, our German-speaking community celebrated "Erntedank" (literally: thanks for the harvest) last weekend.
As I gathered ideas for Thanksgiving activities for the TruffulaBoyz, it struck me that these centered primarily around taking from the rich array of edible goodies around us and saying "thank you" for them. We were invited to donate non-perishibles to a local food bank, and filled a bag with items to share. Of course, that's all nothing earth-shattering, right?!
Something was missing, though I couldn't quite put my finger on it... How could you go wrong with giving thanks for what you've been given and sharing with those who have less?
My missing link started to emerge... Thankfulness alone doesn't cut it. Unlike in the Grimm's fairy tale, our tables don't spread themselves. That is, fertile soil will certainly produce miraculous harvests for a while. After some time, though, the jig is up, and even the richest soil will wear out.
If however, we support the soil, replacing the necessary constituants -- or better yet, not depleting them in the first place -- then the fields (or plots, or rows, or containers, depending on our scale) can continue to bless us with their gifts.
In other words, if we take, we must necessarily give back. Otherwise, there will be less and less coming forth...
Oh, how we are thankful for the tomato bounty (especially those Sun Gold cherry tomatoes!), and the other beautiful and tasty gifts the CSA, my own garden, and other sources have given us this past year! And out of that gratefulness, we are also thankful for the rich compost mixed into that naked soil.
With the compost, added shovel by shovel, plowed under, the tomato rows are ready to receive the garlic cloves coming in over the next few weeks.
Sustainable taking requires giving back... supporting the soil which supports us is but one example. Where else can I, can you, can we give thanks just a little differently this year? How can we better support our communities, our friends, our families, and -- dare I bring it up? -- ourselves by returning something to that which keeps the bounty going?