Thanksgiving is a time of quiet for me these days. A time preferably spent in Nature. Ever since the 1980’s I have been practicing some kind of honoring for the First Nations Peoples on Thanksgiving. I miss participating in the sacred pipe ceremonies of my twenties and thirties with my spiritual teachers.
I also miss the big family celebrations of my I grew up with, filled with love, laughter, arguing, feasting & more laughter. I dearly miss my mother and her hands hard at work in the kitchen, creating delicious dishes for us all to share in the bounty. I miss my brothers, sister, uncles, aunts, friends who all crowded around the table, sharing in the generosity of a tight-knit family’s huge-hearted caring qualities, and when not overbearing, a warmth kindled by kindness and open-hearted compassion.
I cherish memories of the past. They provide a context for life and give a direction for the future. They also offer an opportunity to become more by enriching and informing any experience in the present moment. Memories teach by their very nature. They can also serve as Tricksters, but that is a subject for another time.
When I moved to WNC over twenty years ago I began making a pilgrimage to the Cherokee/Tsalagi lands and sacred sites around us to make intentional offerings. Particularly at this time of year.
This Turning, after a first-time event, dinner out with our sweet neighbor-couple, we took the long way home and stopped alongside the banks of our sacred old river, the French Broad. I was keenly aware of witnessing the unfolding of this year’s evolution of my creative connections and reconciling of this paradoxical celebration from an accurate historical framing with the family gatherings, expectations, profound ancestral patternings, etc…seeking the collective consciousness insights.
The ancient water spread out before me as I inhaled the fragrances of this place, committing them to my olfactory memories. Here I offered gratitude for the waters of life, the bounty of the land, the cleansing winds of our breath, and the fire of our spirits, alive and dancing on this precious little blue home planet we call Earth.
Afterward, the feeling of coming home to myself returns. Coming home to Earth. Feeding my soul with the gratitude that stirs from the ground within my being. It is for these treasured gifts, that I am filled with thankfulness.
Sending gratitude, love, and blessings to All of Life, every One, and all of the sacred souls in my life and beyond…remembering the evolution begins within, as we question our own status quo and embrace the teaching memories that steer our paths forward.
(All photos property of CShepardArts c. 2019 & may not be used without prior written permission from CShepardArts)