#NaBloPoMo Day 28: Thanksgiving? On Being Grateful

I have mixed feelings about this annual event (I can not call it a hol[y]day). On one hand, I think it is lovely to have a day to give thanks to our Earth for our bounty, our farmers and other workers who make it possible for us to have this bounty, and general gratitude for the other bountiful things we have in our lives, such as friends, families, and health. And then on the other hand, I feel like I need to own the fact that in many ways by celebrating, I am continuing to perpetuate the myth of Thanksgiving and I am contributing to the whitewashing of America’s history and that of the history of America’s indigenous populations. As someone of mixed heritage (of which not all is “white”), I find myself in an interesting position that adds layers to the complexities of my conflicted feelings.

As a person more Pagan-minded, I already gave my thanks for our bountiful harvests and lives during the Autumnal Equinox (some call it Mabon). I also try to practice the daily ritual of giving thanks for the bounty, love, and wonderment in my life — either silently and privately to myself or verbally to the loved ones in my life. I do not feel as though gratitude is something to be stored up and only released on one day every year; gratitude is an on going practice.

So with all of those thoughts in mind, the things that I am most grateful for today are:

My marriage of over twelve years. Having a husband and partner in life who is so accepting of, generous with, and supportive of me and of our relationship: not in spite of the complexities involved, but because of the complexities involved.

Being a parent. Not just because I was graced with the privilege of bringing forth life, but because *I* get to be a parent. I haven been given the opportunity to provide a childhood full of that which I did not have. I get to stop some of the harmful cycles that have been passed on in my ancestry. I have the privilege to watch a freely thinking and feeling child grow into freely thinking and feeling adult.

Having some incredible and remarkable friendships. There are some people in my life who are the very reason that I am alive today. Their love, belief in me, and eternal forgiveness, have all played tremendous roles in shaping the person I am today and continue to become.

My clients. People who have given me the privilege of sharing their pregnancies, births, and journeys into parenthood. What an honour to be able to bear witness to such intimate moments of life affirming magic. I embrace and am grateful to have the humility needed to stand on the threshold between two worlds, holding the space for another amazing human to grace this Earth.

The Universe. Such a mysterious and divine place to exist in. And to be such an insignificant part of it. I will forever be in awestricken wonder about everything that surrounds me.

Michele James-Parham


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