Sunday, October 13, 2019

Thanks Giving... or... Giving Thanks... or Thanksgiving

No matter the interface one chooses to use between these two words, they are meant to describe this autumnal celebration in one's life of giving thanks... being grateful. The words and the celebration  are both meant to describe an ancient human ritual that was derived from the conclusion of a successful harvest time.

It marked a time when food(s) were harvested... gathered in successfully. The gatherers then gathered around a table in fellowship either collectively as a family, or in communal groups. They gave thanks ... and shared in the bounties of the harvest. In most cases, the festival was connected to deities, or faiths to whom adherents felt inclined to offer prayers of gratitude and thanks.

It has always remained festive and celebratory... and in most cases involved food, wine, music and joyful conversation. The celebration, as we have come to celebrate it in North America draws family members homeward from wherever they conduct their "separate" lives, or circumstances.

In North America usually turkey, or ham, root vegetables and pumpkin pie comprise the traditional fare. These foods translate to our table from their early origin on the Eastern Seaboard of the US from the traditions and foods available there to earliest settlers and Christian ancestry.

Most likely, these traditions, including the food choices will remain in place. It will not remain so for Deb and I however, on this occasion. Firstly, our family members are widely scattered geographically in diverse places throughout Canada and the Barbados.

Each of those members has responsibilities in their own lives to share the ritual of Thanks Giving that was begun under our roofs and around their tables with their own offspring And so our Thanks Giving custom continues. We remain gathered together.. spiritually... at least.

Thanksgiving in 2019.... Sherman-style

Life changes many things. In the worst scenarios, family members are sadly and tragically removed from their seat at our tables, leaving empty seats around the table and in the hearts of all remaining family members. Such will be the case at Andrew, Melissa and Joan's 2019 Thanks Giving table.

Grief and loss, if you permit it to be brought forward can leave hearts forever heavy and one's Faith shaken, or worse, even destroyed. Allison would be so upset to be viewed as the cause of family sadness.

She implored each of us to " live out our lives to its fullest measure in her honor, if this was to be her time."

We each are doing so. I continue to try to fulfill that wish in my own way. Painting, as I am able and reaching out to use my Art as the connector just as she and I both did using our earthly time and gifts to do so. I will continue to do so... and will support all of our family members to join hands to continue to celebrate in their own fashion the life miracles that she created for others.

I have a painting on the go already but have let it rest for now to share the memories of Allie , in combination the Joy and Love that we have put in place to share with our Friends and neighbor. I hope that you enjoy this small sampling of my own personal memories and creations.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to my Canadian friends and neighbors and an early greeting to those who celebrate theirs outside our calendar date!!!

                               "Bounteous Blessings" - oil on canvas 30 x 24 inches

My life has been filled like this wheelbarrow . It ironically was used by my maternal Grampa Birrell to tend his garden. He filled the wheelbarrow with flowers throughout his life time and he filled his family's lives with copious love and blessings That generous spirit still lives and guides the actions of so many of his offspring.

I was greatly blessed to learn from them and to feel that same love from my Mom and Dad in their home. Today , I do my best to pass it forward to my children. I believe that they would continue to be proud of their family. Too many blessings to list...

                            "Autumn's Final Fanfare" - oil on canvas 11 x 14 inches

"Autumnshine" - oil on canvas 16 x 20 inches

"Leaning Towards Autumn" - oil on canvas 36 x 48 inches

"Bittersweet Madawaska Valley" - oil on canvas - 11 x 14 inches

"Lake Galaiery Color" - plein air oil on panel 8 x 10 inches

Giving Thanks in 2015... all present (Andrew the  chef and photographer)

Who will ride Allie's bike next year.?????

Sadly... I wonder.

Each of us are still pedaling that bike for you Sweet Heart. Last weekend were among the Shermanator team members who hit the road at The Annual CIBC  Run/Walk for the Cure in your honor.

Love you FOREVER Allie
Mom, Dad and Deb, Andrew, Melissa and his Fearsome Threesome lol