Thursday, October 6, 2011


Today I shepherded 11 grade 8 students towards making thanksgiving soup for 200 people. We do this every year. Every class brings harvest vegetables, the Grade 4 class reaps the rewards of their Grade 3 garden, and it all comes together into the soup pot. We all squeeze ourselves into the school hall, invite some special guests, and share a meal together. It is noisy, and cheerful and festive. Every class does something in preparation.

Grade One and Two collect leaves and pinecones to decorate the tables. Grade 3 and 4 make bread and cookies. Grade 5 washes the dishes afterwards. Grade Six clears the tables. Grade 7 sets up the tables and place settings. Grade 8 makes the soup, and prepares the platters of sliced, buttered bread.

For two hours my class worked in the school kitchen. They chopped bowls full of onions, leeks, garlic, potatoes, carrots, celery, turnip, kale, and red cabbage. They worked with such good will.

Such good will. So, I wish you all a Thanksgiving full of good will. I myself will sit down with 13 family members. We will squeeze ourselves into my little house, and be thankful as we gabble and gobble! We are a noisy bunch. This year the girls are out-numbered. 3 to 11. But my sister, niece and I are up for the challenge. Three feminists. They haven't got a chance!

So, I am thankful. I continue to be thankful for the joy I am experiencing with my class and my colleagues. I continue to be thankful for time spent with my husband and son. I an always thankful for early morning talks with my daughter via skype, or facebook, texting, or the good old-fashioned phone. I miss her. But, she will be here to help even out the numbers on December 10. Only 2 months away.

Thanksgiving is my sister's favourite holiday. She has made it one of mine. All those Burton women's bums bustling around the kitchen (and yes, Arwen, you are a Burton and not just by virtue of your bum). We will be thankful for the little house full to bursting with many generations. Stories will be told. Piano will be played. Hopefully a few guitars will be brought out. Maybe even the accordian!

So, wherever you are on Sunday (or Monday), I hope you have a moment of love, and thanksgiving. As a friend of mine said just yesterday "What would it be like if each one of us decided that we want to be the very best that we imagine human beings are capable of being?"

I am thankful I can strive for such an imagining.

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