There is much I am grateful for this Thanksgiving holiday coming on Thursday. I have survived and managed to have "shelter" through these trying times in my life. I have been living in poverty for over 2 years now but I know I have survived because as hard as it's been the "inner spiritual" part of me never let me give up, as much as part of me wanted to just surrender, as I had grown so very tired and lacked the physical strength.
I think back to the history of this Thanksgiving holiday and what it means to me and maybe to some of you. Yes, we are grateful to be living in this great land of ours. Or are we? Every Thanksgiving I think back to how we came to this country and took the land from the Native American Indians....they are the "original Americans" and yet so many of them live in poverty and trying times and very difficult lives living on the reservations. I don't see much changing through history about this. There are still the same problems. We come face to face with putting people that lived in this land on "little spaces of reservations" for them. We "took" from them and now we celebrate? It often feels and seems rather odd to me that we celebrate what we took from the Native American Indians on this holiday.
I often wonder if the Native American Indians celebrate this holiday? Why would they? To me Thanksgiving day would be a very sad day for them...knowing that we celebrate our "victory" of what we took from people of dignity and great courage who used to live off the land.
Over two years ago I found myself moving to Montana and actually living on an Indian reservation. I thought I had made the right decision and had plans for a new life there for me. Instead it turned out horrific. What I saw and witnessed and what I personally went through there myself. I consider myself lucky to have gotten out of there alive! I now can honestly say to you that it broke my heart to know how some Native American Indians have to live. And what has happened to them because of our history. I learned some wonderful traditions and "spiritual ways" and met a few very interesting "chiefs" and such. But what I mostly saw was total poverty, constantly "living on the edge" struggling for shelter and food and to have a car of some kind to drive.....a lot of alcoholics, drug addicts, mad and angry and violent.....and just trying to get through every day to survive.
I used to think I knew what we had done to the Native American Indians, but now I really do know and have witnessed and experienced it firsthand.
So, I will celebrate what I am "Thankful" for on Thanksgiving day but I will "Not" celebrate what the history of Thanksgiving day represents to this country.
I am humbled and ashamed...and much more aware now then I have ever been before about this holiday that we celebrate. If you sit down at the table and carve that turkey on Thanksgiving day , give a special heartfelt thought to the Native American Indians and how we took their land and much of their integrity and honor. This "land was their land" until we came along.
I humbly wish you all a "Thankful" Thanksgiving.
With Love and many Blessings,