Simple (Gifts) Thanksgiving

In less than three weeks, Thanksgiving arrives with all the trimmings. In a world that moves from Halloween to Christmas overnight (at least, that’s what it appears to do in store aisles and television channels), this national feast day seems to get bypassed. Other than offering a long weekend for watching football and hanging Christmas lights, is it only a lot of food and traffic jams?

This year, I’m taking a Thanksgiving break before Advent arrives. I awoke this morning with the song¬†Simple Gifts in my head. I can think of no better way to welcome Thanksgiving than meditating on its lyrics…

[Simple Gifts is a Shaker song written by Elder Joseph Brackett in 1848. Brackett lived in Maine as part of the Shaker community. The Shakers had much in common with Quaker communities, but practiced celibacy along with living a simple life. Smithsonian writer, Erin Blakemore, wrote of the remaining Shakers in Maine for Smithsonian.com on January 6, 2017]

Simple Gifts, written by Joseph Brackett, The Carols of Christmas: A Windham Hill Collection, Windham Hill records, 1996; Liz Story, performer, recorded at Luna Recording Studio, Prescott AZ, 1996]