Today starts the beginning of the holiday prep season for most Americans. I say that because this week is the prep time for our annual day of Thanksgiving. Although many people see Thanksgiving as a day to remember the terrible genocide of the Indigenous Peoples that inhabited this land before, I made a vow long ago to remember the day we tried to make peace and harmony with those who’s land we came upon. The truth is, the only people who discovered America are the people who were living here at the time Columbus and Erikson came onto these lands. Our Native American Indians, who lovingly met with the Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth Rock all those hundreds of years ago. These people who taught us how to plant corn and wheat, how to forage the native medicinals for healing, how to build shelters to keep warm and safe during those North Eastern Winters. My ancestors who shipped from the likes of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Germany and Scandanavia (yup, that’s right, I’m a bit of a Celtic Mutt), lived amongst the Native Americans here at the edge of the Appalachian Mountains not too far from where I live right now. Thanking science for geneology reports, I found that my people came to live in the Pocono Mountains, about 2.5 hours from my home.
My personal geneology report as of 11/22/2020
I’ve been thinking a lot about my ancestors this year in particular. Call it pandemic curiosity, call it research, I’ve taken great pride in studying my family’s history and how we ended up here in Pennsylvania. I come from a Clan of people called The Ulster Irish, also known as the Black Irish. They were the Indiginous people of Ireland who lived up in the North East of Ireland. There was a time in history that the Vikings from Scandanavia came down, raping and pillaging these people, breeding a new generation that would eventually emigrate to Scotland and England, and then eventually hundreds of years later, take a boat off of Southampton and land in New York City. My ancestoral history is not a pretty site, but I feel it is important to remember that not all of the Irish were good, and not all the Vikings were bad. What I DO know, is that it’s MY history, and although it’s not always pretty, it’s MY history. And this is exactly what I taught my children as I raised them. History is messy, and sometimes there are things that happened that are not easy to talk about. Horrific things like brutal rape and genocide, but also wonderful things like love, truce, and comraderie. We educated each other, and I HAVE to believe that however this country was formed, there was both bad AND good. Both sad YET happy times. And if 2020 has taught me anything, is that for all the bad stuff that’s happened to us, if we don’t remember the good along with it, we forfeit our right to the powerful truth of history.
So, as you prepare this week of celebrations, reunions and the like, I dare you to think about the good that has happened in this year along with all the challenges we as a nation have faced. Even if the good was personal and private, and no one but you and God were there to witness it, REMEMBER it. And thank our Creator above for all that we have been given.
For me, I am grateful for several things and came to some funny conclusions:
I have incredible faith that I never knew I had until I found myself in some serious hard times. That my inner circle, although tight and and secured, is more powerful than having thousands of social networking fans. That maybe I’m really a Northern gal, and that maybe it’s time I face the fact that if I embrace Winter, I may not be as depressed as I always expect to be each year. That the power of prayer can move mountains. That God gives me EXACTLY what I need when I NEED it, and nothing more or less. That if I stop trying to live life like I’m running in a marathon, I’ll find that peace I keep talking about. Huh.
I’m hosting Thanksgiving this year for my in-laws. I’m looking forward to it, despite some challenges it sometime faces. I have SO much to be thankful for this year, and I intend to relish in every single moment over these next several weeks, until it’s time to bid adieu to 2020 and turn the page to the next chapter. I hope you take heed to what I’ve said and do the same. We all deserve peace in our lives right now. And it has to start from within. God Bless You.