Friday, November 28, 2014
In the autumn of 1621, a group of people who had long inhabited this land sat down with a group of immigrants calling themselves Pilgrims to celebrate a successful harvest. Initially, the native born had been suspicious of the new immigrants. The newcomers had come from across the sea without permission and without any rights over the land they occupied (you might even call them undocumented). They dressed oddly, had a different color skin, spoke a language the native born didn’t understand, and appeared to have few practical skills (they were nearly hopeless at hunting and fishing). Nevertheless, the native born shared their knowledge with the immigrants -- of local crops, planting and harvesting, and navigation – and thereby helped the immigrants survive.
In that first Thanksgiving, three hundred ninety-three years ago, the two groups joined together to express gratitude and mutual respect. It seems fitting that today we honor subsequent generations of hard-working immigrants, as well as the native born who have welcomed and helped them succeed in this bounteous land.
I've been thinking so much about immigration and who comes to what lands under what circumstances during this semester in Paris, and so of course Reich's words resonated with me. They also resonated with me because of the shame of Ferguson, and the sorrow and the rage and the loss of so much. There's little room in there for a "sincere" or "simple" explanation of Thanksgiving, of what we are thankful for. It's complicated; makes more for gladness than exuberance.
Magret de Canard with a red wine orange sauce (here)
Everything else was from the UK edition of Good Housekeeping
Brussel Sprouts with Garlic Butter
Potatoes Roasted in Duck Fat
Ginger-Roasted Root Vegetables
Cranberry Sauce with Candied Ginger and Orange
Apple Marzipan Tart
Orange-Chocolate Panettone Pudding
And so, to wellness and to discussion and to change and to hope and to gathering.